4 Best Pre-Workout Options

September 5, 2019

With the busy schedules that people tend to have in the 21st century, it’s often difficult to fit in a workout, let alone a pre-workout routine. However, when you fail to prepare for a workout, it could lead to more harm than good. Inadequate preparation could lead to injury or other long-term problems. Here are some tips to ensure that your body is ready to undergo the rigors of your workout.

1. Eat an hour or more before the routine

It’s common for people to make the mistake of doing a workout without consuming any fuel for their bodies. Having a meal before a workout provides a source of energy that can propel your workout to higher performance and better results. This is especially true early in the morning when most people haven’t eaten for at least 12 hours. Good food choices include a lean protein source and some slow-metabolizing carbs such as brown rice or oatmeal. If your morning schedule is too hectic for you to make a meal, prepare a healthy smoothy the night before and have it ready to drink in the morning.

2. Deep tissue massage

Many pro athletes have a massage therapist to get their muscles ready to engage in intense exercise at competitive events. This increases mobility and range of motion. Since it’s unlikely that you have your own deep-tissue massage therapist, it’s good to invest in a foam roller. Do a short routine with a foam roller about 10 or 15 minutes before your workout. You can use the roller to target areas that feel particularly tense. A foam roller will relieve tension and knots in the muscles that stretching can’t alleviate.

3. Proper stretching

Before a workout, it’s best to perform dynamic mobility stretches as opposed to long static stretches or no stretches at all. When a muscle is cold and stiff, it can be harmful to hold a stretched pose for long periods of time. It’s like stretching a cold rubber band. The muscles are more prone to injury when they’re not warmed up and stretched out to their limit. That’s why it’s best to do stretching motions to warm up the muscle while also limbering them up. Prolonged static stretches can be saved for after your workout if you want to increase flexibility.

4. Tailor your warm-up to match the workout

This is especially important for weight lifting. Do some lifting sets at a lower weight to warm up the muscles. This will increase the blood flow to allow better lifting performance. It will also warm up and limber the muscles to prevent injury when the muscles are stressed at their maximum capacity. The more intense your exercise session will be, the more thoroughly you should warm up the muscles before engaging in it. This is especially true if you’re lifting your maximum weight for a particular muscle group.

No matter how busy you are, try to incorporate a warmup routine with your workout. Preparation is the key to success in many areas of life, including fitness. Make sure that your workouts result in better fitness rather than injuries or long-term health problems.

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