Every workout program begins with cardio warm up which gradually becomes more vigorous leading to the conditioning segment. It is one of the shortest components of a fitness program, but the warm-up is one of the most important part as it provides a number of physiological benefits.
Here are six things to keep in mind as you prepare to teach a fitness program.
A five to ten minute cardio exercise raises your internal temperature which facilitates the force of muscle contraction as well as speed and strength of the working muscles. Joint stability and protective joint reflexes are also enhanced allowing for a larger range of motion and the connective tissue becomes less resistant.
Blood flow gets redistributed back to the working muscles. As the blood flows through the muscles, its temperature rises causing the binding of oxygen to haemoglobin to weaken. This process makes oxygen readily available to the working muscles which enables an increase in energy production and prevents the build up of lactic acid.
A timely and effective warm-up is good for the heart because the blood vessels dilate. This increases the flow of blood to and from the heart and lungs and throughout the rest of the body.
Metabolic rate increases, enabling your participants to burn off more calories in a short period of time.
A warm-up accompanied by mid-tempo music is stimulating and motivating, two things that will enhance your participants’ attitudes towards exercise.
A warm-up also reduces the risk of injuries.
Things to keep in mind when doing a warm-up:
The warm-up should be tailored for participants of all fitness levels and, unless exercising in a cold environment or with participants who suffer from asthma or any musculoskeletal condition, the warm-up should not exceed ten minutes.
An effective warm-up generally starts off with small dynamic movements that involve a small range of motion of the joints that are to be used during the conditioning segment and gradually increases in intensity.
Jo, Sabrena. ‘Getting to the Core of Class’ in ACE Group Fitness Instructor Handbook: The Professional’s Guide to Creating Memorable Movement Experiences. San Diego: American Council on Exercise, p. 23.
Quinn, Elizabeth. “Should You Warm up Before Exercise?” Very Well Fit, 25 September 2018, https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-warm-up-before-exercise-3119266 (accessed 11 August 2019).