So, you’ve decided to get in there with the boys and start hitting the weights? That’s great! Lifting weights is an essential part of any workout plan. It tones your muscles, enhances your physical capability, and just all around makes your clothes fit better!
Now that you’ve taken that first step of making the decision to being lifting, I’m sure you’ve seen the dozens if not thousands of different articles and plans that litter the web. Some good, some not so good, some OHMYGODDON’TDOTHAT. It’s been covered over and over and over… but one thing you’ve likely come across in your search of fitness sites is a thing called “warmup sets.”
These are a must have part of your workout plan, but few guides ever take the time to truly explain them to women beginning a weightlifting program. So without further ado, I give you everything you need to know about warming up before lifting!
What is a warmup set?
Good question! Most weightlifting plans call for you to do anywhere from 3 to 5 sets of an exercise before moving on to the next. BUT, they often do not include a warmup set in their instructions. Before tackling these, a warmup set should be done at an easy manageable weight.
5 tips for warmup sets
- Take it easy! These sets are meant to prepare your muscles for what’s to come, don’t push it too hard during these – save that for the sets to come!
- Focus on your range of motion! Before beginning any fitness program, you should have a knowledgeable instructor show you the proper, safe way to do each exercise. This is especially vital when beginning a weightlifting program. While doing your warmup set for each exercise, go slow and really key in on the motion your body is going through while at this lighter weight. It helps to create a mind-muscle connection which will be essential for maximum effectiveness at safety when you move on to your harder, heavier sets.
- Don’t be afraid to do multiple warmup sets! For some smaller muscle groups, one properly done warmup set will be fine. But when tackling heavier weights which work multiple muscle groups at once such as squats or bench press, you should slowly build up your weight. Don’t do a simple easy weight than jump right into a challenging one! Ramp things up and you’ll avoid painful injuries that will derail your fitness plan.
- Make sure you do enough reps! Just because you’re familiar with the exercise doesn’t mean you can cut corners. Always do a proper amount of warmup sets and reps. At least 1 warm up set and at least 5 reps – all properly done with focus!
- But NOT TOO MANY reps! There’s a difference between properly preparing yourself and fatiguing your muscles before you’ve moved on to the heavier weights. Any more than 10 reps per warmup set is unnecessary and could prematurely fatigue you. Tiring out your muscles right before you start your heavy sets could lead to diminished results or worse yet, injury.
I hope this brief but simple guide to warming up before lifting weights has been helpful! For more information on health and fitness visit our main page!