The Common Warm-Up Mistake You Could Be Making

And how to warm up the right way, according to Virgin Active's Ceri Hannan.


Cally Silberbauer |

It’s been said that ‘how you start is how you finish’. This goes for workouts as well – the warm-up is vital for effective results. It is easy to skip this step and jump right into getting your sweat on, but here’s why you shouldn’t. Ceri Hannan from Virgin Active gave us the low-down on prepping your bod for a workout sesh…

What is a warm-up?

“In basic terms, the aim of any warm-up is to prepare the body for the work to follow,” Ceri begins. “General mobility of the joints and raising the body’s core temperature is key.” He adds that when it comes to the Fit Night Out warm-up, he aims to make it as fun as possible because that’s what exercising is all about.

But why do we need to warm up? “Physical preparation is paramount from an injury prevention perspective,” Ceri explains. “Not to mention heightened awareness to react to the work that follows any warm-up.” But it’s not just your body that needs to be ready to work out. “Mental readiness also plays a crucial part in helping to connect the mind and body for a safe and effective exercise experience.”

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Warm-up mistakes you could be making

Yep, that’s right – you can warm-up incorrectly. Like most things in life, there’s a right and a wrong way to get yourself warm.

“The most common mistake I see is people going straight into static stretching (holding a stretch for 10 seconds plus),” Ceri says. “This is fine ‘after’ the workout [when your body is warm], but generally the muscular-skeletal system is not warm enough to withstand a static stretch.” It’s also important to think about what you’ll be doing after the warm-up. “[The warm-up] is generally followed by ‘dynamic’ workout activity,” Ceri adds. Again, start how you plan to finish.

READ MORE: Add These 4 Warm-Up Moves To Any Workout To Activate Your Butt Muscles

How long should you warm up for?

“Anything from five to 30 minutes, purely depending on the work to follow,” Ceri explains. “It also depends on the temperature and the individual human.” You’re ready to work out properly when you’re ‘warm’. You’re warm when you’ve got a bit of a sweat going and breathing a little heavier. Easy really. Let’s work it.

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READ MORE ON: Fit Night Out Fitness Fitness Advice