Why Warm Up?

Warming up can seem like a pointless “slow start” to your workout, but there a number of reasons why it is a must for everyone engaging in any type of physical activity.

It helps to increase blood flow around the body

Blood flow around your body is essential for exercising. Not only does it increase the amount of energy available to our muscles to use, but it also helps to increase the temperature of the body. This means the muscles, joints and other tissues have the chance to “wake-up”. Overall, a more energised workout, for longer.

It prepares muscles that will be in use

By completing a warm up routine or set of smaller movements that relate to your activity, the necessary muscles have the opportunity to prepare themselves and the actions they will be performing. At the start of every workout, we may be a little stiff (especially if it is first thing in the morning, or after sitting at a desk all day!). So a slow and steady warm up allows your body to prepare itself, and complete the movements the way you have trained it to!

It prevents injuries and assists with healing

Increasing the temperature of the body, and waking up our muscles, means our body is ready to do the things we require of it during that time. If we prepare our bodies, they will be able to move the way we need them to without going too far or misjudging situations and “throwing” our body in. Slow and steady also means that the extra blood flow can help remind your body of its limits from prior injury, and send that support to injuries that are still healing.

It enhances the mind-body connection

Easily one of the most underrated benefits of warming up properly. Our brains send messages to our body – that much is simple. If our brain is sending messages to our body that it’s not ready for, or are outside our current ability, injury can occur. From a competitive sense, a mind-body connection can also help to prepare an athlete for performance. Mental rehearsal and focus have been shown to have a significant impact on performance and level of anxiety/arousal pre-game.

It increases your range of motion

The extra blood flow, increase in body temperature and mental preparation can allow the elasticity of your muscles to increase. This has the ability to help increase the way your muscles can move and the directions they can apply force in (eg. A kick or a throw). By being able to exercise these movements to their full capacity, your performance is increased. In the same sense, if you attempt to perform any movement (even a jog) without being able to use your full range of joint motion can cause serious injury and impact performance.

How can your physiotherapist help?

Your physiotherapist is the expert when it comes to warming up effectively. They can prescribe a whole range of warm up activities that are specific to your situation and needs. These plans can also be adapted for various activities and changed as you need them.

Our top tips for warming up:

> Start with small and slow movements
> Start with lighter weights, and complete the movements to prepare your mind and body
> Let kids see you warming up, if they see you treating it as important they will do the same
> Make your warm up a part of every activity, non-negotiable is best!

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, working in the cardiac rehabilitation program, heart failure service and mental health unit at Nepean Hospital. And at the ACU Exercise and Lifestyle Clinic working with clients with neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since graduating, Andrea enjoys working with a variety of clients. She has a particular interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries and neurological conditions, striving to help people increase their functional capacity to get them back to work, sport or the things they love doing.