Exercise experts generally agree that there are three key
components to an exercise session
- The warm-up
- The work-out or activity
- The cool-down
Objectives of the Warm-up
The objective of the warm-up is two-fold:
- Increase blood flow to the heart and working muscles
- Increase muscle and core body temperature
With increased blood flow and temperature muscles are able to function more efficiently. Specifically, oxygen delivery is enhanced, nerve transmission and metabolism is accelerated, and motor unit recruitment is facilitated.
Sudden Exertion Without a Warm-Up Can Cause Irregular Heart Beats
In a study of men, it was found that running on a treadmill at high speeds without a warm-up caused irregular heart beats to show on an ECG in 70% of the subjects. With a warm-up only 9% of the men had significantly abnormal ECG readings
Barnard, RJ, et al. (1973). Cardiovascular responses to sudden strenuous exercise: heart rate, blood pressure, and ECG. J. Appl. Physiol., 34:883.