Skipping your warm-up may save time, but your performance will suffer – here’s what you need to know about which warm-ups work best
Warming up is one of those unquestioned things that virtually everyone does before training and competing. Think back to your earliest PE lesson at school. Chances are, you did some stretching, waved your arms and legs around and went for a short jog “to get your heart and muscles going”. That has translated into cycling all the way up to Grand Tours, with dedicated time and facilities for warming up.
A warm-up before a training session or race is considered essential for preparing your body for exercise – not only will it help you to perform better, but it will also help protect your body from common cycling injuries . But does it actually work? And if so, how does it work, and how do we get maximum benefit from it?
Doing any kind of exercise will warm you up because the human body is not very efficient at harnessing the energy it releases from nutrition . About 75 per cent of it is immediately lost as heat, warming up the tissues and blood nearby. The body tries to get rid of this heat by transferring it to the skin, and the entire body warms up. Physiology textbooks will tell you that warming up the muscle also increases blood flow to muscles, reduces muscle stiffness, increases the speed of nerve conduction, and prepares the heart for future exertion. Although […]