I just posted a full blog article on iWannaBurnFat.com discussing how a proper warm-up should be structured and what the benefits of good warm-ups are. To read the full article, click the link in my bio. Today's post is a quick summary of the new blog post.
The purpose of a warm-up is to *prepare you for training*, not fatigue you . Therefore, a warm-up should be short and to the point, so you can preserve your energy for heavy strength training. I generally divide the warm-ups of my clients into 3 parts: a general warm-up, dynamic stretching, and a sport-specific warm-up (a.k.a. warm-up sets).
During the general warm-up, you perform aerobic exercise for a short duration (~3-5 minutes) to raise your body temperature. Raising your body temperature has been shown to be beneficial for strength performance by increasing the rate at which muscles contract and enhancing muscle blood flow .
After the general warm-up, it's useful to incorporate a few minutes of relatively explosive dynamic stretching to improve mobility and help you prepare for producing high amounts of force . Around 4-5 dynamic stretches is generally sufficient (think arm swings, leg swings etc.).
Lastly, to help you practice the form of your first exercise and gradually build up to your working sets, a sport-specific warm-up should be used. This basically refers to your typical warm-up sets. About 2-3 warm-up sets are generally recommended.
To read about each warm-up phase in more detail, I suggest you check out the full article by clicking the link in my bio.