Circuit training involves alternating between strength and cardiovascular exercises for a set amount of time. Because you are working various muscle groups, it is important for your body to warmed up very well. A warmup prepares the muscles and joints for movement and exercise, according to the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.
In a classic format, nine to 12 strength exercise stations comprise a circuit. The participant moves from station to station, with little rest between. Circuit training can be performed with various types of exercises, weights and/or machines. By adding an aerobics station between each station, the circuit becomes an aerobic circuit, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
Purpose of a Warmup
A warmup should increase the core temperature and warm up the muscles and joints. Warming up prepares the body for vigorous exercise and reduces the risk of injury, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
Duration of the Warmup
The duration of the warmup depends on the length and intensity of the circuit. A typical warmup time frame is eight to 12 minutes, according to the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. A more vigorous circuit may require a longer warmup, to assure the body is warm and the muscles and joints are ready for movement. If your body continues to feel stiff and tight after 12 to 15 minutes, it never hurts to warm up a little longer until you feel comfortable to begin the workout.
A warmup is not intended to be performed at the same intensity of the workout. Keeping track of your heart rate is an easy way to assure you are not exceeding the limit. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends an intensity level of exercise to be between 55 and 90 percent of your maximum heart rate. To find your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. Your heart rate should be less than the minimum percentage for the warmup.
- ACSM's Resource Manual for Exercise Testing and Prescripton; American College of Sports Medicine
- Fitness: Theory & Practice; Aerobics and Fitness Association of America
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