If I have a short amount of time to squeeze in a workout is it ok to skip the warmup and get in the main set?
It is never a good idea to skip your warm up especially if you are jumping in on a fast workout. Warming up is vital for several reasons and provides both physiological and psychological benefits:
- Injury Prevention. Warming up generates blood and oxygen flow to the muscles, tendons and connective tissue you will be working, simultaneously increasing muscle temperature. A slow warm up will also make connective tissue less vulnerable to injury because warm muscles contract more forcefully and clear muscle acidity rapidly. Additionally a slower warmup lubricates your joints allowing for maximum range of motion.
- Enhanced Performance. By warming up slowly your body will not not release an excessive amount glycogen into your system. If you start out too quickly, you’ll end up accelerating depletion of muscle glycogen. Conserving muscle glycogen leads to enhanced performance. Your increased overall body temperature also acts to increase muscle elasticity which in turn enhances speed and endurance.
- Mental Readiness. By warming up you are telling your mind that the upcoming activity feels familiar. Taking time to mentally prepare yourself before a workout leads to higher levels of performance through better coordination, skill and ability to work through discomfort.
Shelley, warming up is important on the front end and needs to be done before you jump into your main sets. When you warm up go slowly to start with. Do a couple of little build ups just shy of race pace and then you will be ready. Even if you have a finite amount of time don’t shorten that warm up period. If you do, you will be in big trouble.
Hope this helps,