Why warm up your lower body: 3 key points
Increase pliability/elasticity of muscles and tendons making them more resilient to injury
Improve range of motion of joints allowing better movement patterns, reducing your risk of injury
Prepare for specific task/exercise by working on correct movement patterns
Structure of a lower body warm-up
Fast walk or light jog for 5-10 minutes to elevate core body temperature
Flexibility/mobility movements to improve joint range of movement
Functional movements to improve task-specific mobility and establish/reinforce correct movement patterns/technique
Example warm-up for lower body gym routine
This series of warm-up exercises can be applied to a lower body gym routine involving typical compound movements including squats, deadlifts, leg press and lunges. It would first start with a 5-10 minute fast walk, and then continue with the following exercises:
Following this short series of flexibility/mobility exercises, the warm-up should finish with the first programmed exercise at 50% or less of the planned working weight. For example, if your first exercise is a squat and you plan on doing 3 sets of 8 reps at 80kg, you should warm up by starting with a set of 8-12 at 40kg, before increasing the weight gradually over 2-3 sets until you reach your working weight of 80kg.
It is also important to note that this warm-up is generic and each individual does have specific needs based on their injury history, which muscles are tight and which joints are stiff!
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