Warming up is an essential part to any workout, including Pilates. Depending on how intense your workout is going to be will alter the time and intensity of the warm up, for example for a Pilates class some light movements, mobilising each joint and stretches will probably be sufficient, but if you are about to embark on a cycling sprint session you probably need at least 20 minutes easy cadence spinning and joint mobility to help your leg muscles warm up and prepare for what they are about to take on.
Warming up does literally that, it warms your muscles by increasing blood flow to the ‘working’ area and lubricates the joints because the fluid surrounding them becomes less viscous allowing the joint to move more efficiently.
At rest, your muscles get about 15% of your total blood supply, depending on the exercise this could increase to as much as 80%! This takes time to reroute the blood flow so warming up gives your body time to get the blood going to the right places.
Warming up improves the elasticity of your muscles which means they can work harder with a reduced chance of injury for longer without fatigue.
Warming up doesn’t just help your muscles and joints get ready it helps your head too, athletes often talk about being ‘in the zone’ and in Pilates we talk about finding your focus, your warm up works as that time to settle down and focus on your exercise. It is a time to switch off from what is going on around you and work on your body.
Below is a little warm up video you can add before of Pilates exercises you may be doing from home or before sports like cycling, running and swimming.