Before you do any workout you should always warm up your muscles and heart. That is why even though it may be an arm workout day; you still want to perform a full body warm up. Below are a few easy pre-workout warm ups to get you going.
Stretching is a great way to trigger your mind and body that you are about to workout. Stretching increases blood flow to the extremities, as well as begins to loosen joints and tendons that may be stiff. Working out with cold or stiff muscles drastically increases your chance of injuries such as muscle or tendon tears. Stretching before a workout is a gently way to transition into a heavier workout and avoid injury.
The thing to remember when performing stretches are to only go as deep as feels comfortable and to use your muscle’s natural motions; stretching too deeply will cause muscle or tendon tearing. If you feel a urning sensation you have gone too deep and need to pull back out of the stretch some. By stretching in the same movements that your muscles already move you are gently triggering them into action without added strain from unusual or awkward movements (sometimes seen in aggressive yoga moves), in turn protecting both your muscles and your joints from injury.
Even if it is not a cardio workout day, it is beneficial to do a short five to ten minute cardio warm up. What this does is get the heart beating and pumping blood to the extremities. Muscle needs a fresh oxygenated blood supply in order to function properly. The blood being pumped into your muscles as you workout supplies nutrients and oxygen, while removing biological waste that is produced as the muscle works. When you add a short warm-up cardio session before beginning any type of workout, you are basically feeding your muscles so that they will have what they need to complete your workout without straining.
Deep and Proper Breathing
As mentioned in the Mild Cardio section, muscle needs oxygenated blood to function properly. That is why it is very important to breathe properly not only before your workout, but also throughout any workout. To breath properly during a workout you should be breathing in deeply through the nose so that your abdomen extends slightly, and then out through the mouth while pulling your belly button in towards the spine. Maintaining this type of breathing throughout the workout provides ample oxygen to the body, as it works the lungs and abdomen strengthening them as well.
Even if your workout scheduled for the day is meant to be an all arm workout, it is important to warm up with stretching, mild cardio, and breathing exercises to wake up and nourish muscles before they are forced to work. By including ample warm up time into each of your workouts you will be avoiding injury, providing yourself with a more effective workout, and see results in a quicker time frame since muscle will be less stressed and have a quicker healthier recover time.