How do you warm up before weight training? Stylist Strong trainers answer the most googled questions

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How should you warm up before weight training? Stylist Strong trainers answer the most googled questions

You’re getting to grips with the workout itself, you’re getting in your post-workout stretch and you’re eating enough to fuel your sessions. But chances are you’re not optimising the most essential part of the workout: the warm up.

We know it sounds counterintuitive to spend time walking, stretching or mobilising when you’ve only got half an hour to get in and out of the gym. But do so and your muscles will move better, you’ll lift heavier and recover faster

Each week, trainers from Stylist Strong answer some of the most-asked questions from women who want to get into lifting. Today, they’re explaining how to warm up before jumping into your weight training session.

HOW DO YOU WARM UP BEFORE WEIGHT TRAINING?

TESS GLYNNE-JONES, TRAINER AT STYLIST STRONG

“I quite like to do five minutes of a heart opener. It’s not essential but if you’re doing some kind of conditioning at the end of your workouts, it’s a good thing to do because it preps your body for high heart rate, which you are going to get when you’re lifting heavy as well. So that could just be anything from five minutes on a rowing machine. Depending on what’s in my session, I will warm up the relevant body parts. So if I have a lower body session, I will always have a lunge in my warm up. It’s just a great way for mobilising and stabilising the ankle and hip and just getting those targeted muscles to wake up. For upper body stuff I will tend to do things like toe taps, shoulder taps, different press up variations, just a couple of reps of each just to get my joints ready for the movement as well”

CAROLINE BRAGG, MASTER TRAINER AT STYLIST STRONG

“Start with breathing to switch your mind set and your body to what we’re about to do. But mobility is really key. In the performance class at Stylist Strong we do a few minutes of deep breathing while we envision smashing our goals, and then move onto mobility work including cat cowls, downward dog flows, lunges and glute bridges.”

SHOULD YOU STRETCH BEFORE WEIGHT TRAINING?

CAROLINE BRAGG, MASTER TRAINER AT STYLIST STRONG

“When you’re stretching something, you’re lengthening. When you’re mobilising something you’re priming the body to do what it needs to do. So stretching is lengthening, whereas mobilising is prepping for the motion.”

TESS GLYNNE-JONES, TRAINER AT STYLIST STRONG

“Stretching switches your muscles off. And when you’re lifting heavy weights, you want your muscles switched on you. It really depends on the person. If you’re naturally really tight, then doing a bit of a stretch might help you get into positions better. I tend to say avoid stretching before you train. If you want a bit of a stretch, wait until the end and go for it. But I would say getting in functional movements such as lunges and body weight squats, toe taps and shoulder taps like that in your warm up is going to be much more beneficial than a stretch.”

WHY DO YOU NEED TO WARM UP BEFORE WEIGHTLIFTING?

TESS GLYNNE-JONES, TRAINER AT STYLIST STRONG

“Because if you go into it cold and your body’s not ready for it, your joints aren’t prepped. And it’s a similar thing with the core so your body will then look for strength elsewhere, and you might end up getting injured. So it’s important that the movements you have in your warmup, if you can make them as replicative as possible as the movements you’re going to be doing in your session, that’s a really good thing. Starting with bodyweight. If you’ve got heavy lunges in your program, get your body used to the movements so that when you come to put it under load and stress it’s prepared for it.”

CAROLINE BRAGG, MASTER TRAINER AT STYLIST STRONG

“Because we want to be going to our full range in our body. And if we don’t move well enough and then start loading the muscles that’s when you can start getting injuries and problems. So focus on the hips, shoulders and the back – and the bits that you’re going to need to lift – and make sure that they are mobile.”

READY TO START WEIGHT TRAINING?

Stylist Strong is a fitness brand specialising in strength training specifically tailored for women. Our classes are designed to build both physical and mental strength in a smart and informed way.

So, whether you’re a beginner or already have strength-training experience, Stylist Strong has a class to suit you. Come and try our strength-based classes, including our new yoga classes, at our own purpose-built studio at The AllBright Mayfair.

Images: Getty

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