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Warming up and stretching:Everything you need to know

Table of contents

Why warm up before exercise?

Why stretch after exercise?


Why warm up before exercise 

A general recommendation is that you should always warm up before all physical activity. Warming up is an important part of your workout, as it can help prevent injuries . During the warm-up, the muscles and tendons become smoother , and the body gets prepared for the activity to come. It is not only the body that is prepared for exercise during warming up, but one is also mentally prepared to perform their best . The temperature in the body increases and the blood circulates faster, so that the senses are sharpened and the muscles warm up .


In general about heating

  • Spend 5 to 10 minutes on the actual heating
  • The heart rate should increase gradually
  • Make sure you sweat without getting tired in the muscles
  • Do the movements that are similar to the main activity

During the warm-up, the mood also improves, which leads to that the desire to exercise increases . Most people can probably recognize themselves in going a little too hard right away, and that the body gets tired quickly. This can be avoided by proper heating! Below you can read to learn more about warm-up for strength training and running.

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Warm-up before strength training

When warming up before strength training, it is a good idea to divide the warm-up into general warm-up and muscle activation .

1. General heating

The general heating may be to use an exercise machine at a suitable speed so that the heart rate increases . How long you spend getting your body warm varies, but the speed should be such that your heart rate rises after 5-10 minutes. You should not wear yourself out during the warm-up, but can jog easily or use a rowing machine, ellipse, spinning bike and the like.

2. Muscle activation

To get a holistic warm-up before strength training, it is important to activate the muscles. This only takes 3-4 minutes, and here the attention should be focused on the shoulders, knees and lower back. It lasts with 1-2 sets per exercise. Below are a few exercises you can use.


 Exercises for activating the shoulders



Exercises for activating the hips


Exercises for activating the lower back

This exercise will help the lower back of your back by you activates the core muscles and teacher good technique in the back.


Warm-up before running

It is important to warm up before running as well, not only to prevent injuries but also to perform better during the session itself. That's why we've created a three-step guide to how you can warm up before running .

1. Go

The first thing to start with is to walk calmly for four to five minutes, this is the best way to get the body to go from a sitting position and into activity mode. It also increases the blood flow to the muscles you use during running.

2. Increase the speed gradually

After you have walked calmly, you can increase the speed gradually and jog for three to four minutes, also increase the speed gradually. Pause after the speed increase and repeat a few times. Make sure that the running steps are short and fast during the speed increases.

3. Dynamic stretching

For dynamic stretching, use controlled movements that loosen the muscles and increase body temperature. This makes you and your muscles soft and ready to run!

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An important part of avoiding injuries is having the right shoes for training . Famme has developed new running shoes that are light on the foot and provide good support. Check them outhere!

Are you unsure if you need to change shoes Read our post aboutm five signs for when you should change running shoes!


Why stretch after exercise?

Stretching is one of the most translated aspects when it comes to exercise.There are many benefits to it, and one of the most important is injury prevention.Read on to learn more about stretching and how to do it. Furthermore, it may be relevant to read up on injury prevention training.


Benefits of stretching:

Increased flexibility

After training, the muscles go through several processes that cause them to contract and be "shortened" (they simply have a different shape), and therefore you will feel stiffness and tenderness if you do not try to correct the condition by stretching. With stretching, the muscles contract to return to their more comfortable state and the body will feel more flexible and relaxed. This is why en of the main benefits of stretching.


2. Improved blood circulation

Performing stretches regularly can improve your circulation. Improved circulation increases blood flow to your muscles, which can shorten recovery time and reduce muscle pain.


3. Extra energy

If you have a good stretching routine, you will probably notice that your energy level is even and consistent. When the body cools, the brain releases endorphins, which are a natural and healthy "feel-good" hormone. After a good relaxation exercise after training, you are energetic and ready to face any challenge.


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4. Pain prevention and reduction of the risk of injury

Stretching properly after exercise will not remove the pain, but will definitely minimize it to a great extent. On the other hand, if the muscles remain tight after a workout, the risk of injury is greater. Stretching can actually minimize and reduce your risk of injury. 


5. Great for stress relief

When you experience stress, there is a good chance that your muscles are tense. This is because your muscles tend to tighten in response to physical and emotional stress. Focus on areas of your body where you tend to hold on to stress, such as the neck, shoulders and upper back.


How and how often you should stretch?

How often should you stretch and how long should you keep these stretching exercises In addition, the number of times the exercises are to be performed is an important factor..

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) underwent a wide range of studies to answer these questions. Stretching has been studied much less than other forms of exercise, so the science is not as strong. However, based on the evidence, they agreed that:

  • Healthy adults should do flexibility exercises (stretching, yoga) for all major muscles: neck, shoulders, chest, back, hips, legs and ankles-leasttwo to three times a week. 
  • For optimal results, you should use total60 seconds on each stretching exercises. So if you can hold a particular exercise for 15 seconds, it would be ideal to repeat it three more times. If you can hold the exercise for 20 seconds, two repetitions would do the trick.


Some tips to make your stretching routine more effective!

  • Static stretching exercises fits well after exercise. Each time you perform the various exercises, hold in good time so that the muscle has the time it needs to restore shape.
  • Foam roll is a great addition to your exercise routine - especially if one part of your body is tighter than the others; it also increases circulation and helps to lower the heart rate.
  • Think of stretching as a way to reset and achieve balance after putting your body through stress. Instead of seeing it as optional, think about stretching yourself as part of your training; that way you will maximize the benefits of all the hard work you have put in.
  • We recommend that you stretch before exercising as well; dynamic stretching is a good suggestion for those who are going to have high-intensity training.


Static stretching:You stretch the muscle so that it is tightened and hold this position for a minimum of 10 seconds. This is usually done after exercise.

Dynamic stretching: Movement training where you move back and forth between tight and relaxed state.


When should you stretch out 

Stretching, on the other hand, is not necessary for all types of physical activity. There are cases where this can lead to more damage than positive outcomes.

Avoid stretching

  • In order to maintain the explosiveness and elasticity of the muscles, one should not stretch before a workout. For example, before a running session, it will not be a good idea to stretch as the muscle is pulled out and becomes relaxed in advance. This will therefore reduce the speed.
  • If you have hypermobile joints, it will not be a good idea to stretch these joints. Hypermobility means that you can bend the joints too far, which can be harmful to the body.
  • If only to avoid soreness. It is not the case that stretching has a significant effect on soreness, where one should rather have a reduction of the session for better conditions for recovery.
  • If you have a fracture or stretch in a muscle, it will be smart to wait the first two days to the fullest. After these days, however, stretching can help the rehabilitation go faster.

Perform stretching

  • For activities that require the body to have extreme mobility, such as ballet. Here the stretching must take place regularly in order for the effect to be maintained, otherwise the muscle will return to the starting point.
  • As a warm-up to soften the body so that it is prepared for physical activity.
  • Rehabilitation of injuries can help with stretching.
  • Great way to calm down, and can be an important part of the training for more people. It is important to have such good feelings and thoughts. If you like this, it may be relevant to read more about mindfulness and yoga here!
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Why do you get upset?

Soreness is caused by small tears or damage to the muscles that occur when performing unfamiliar movement with a lot of load. This causes an inflammatory reaction that results in sore and sore muscles.

How not to get upset

Soreness can be prevented in various ways. One factor is to exercise regularly, so the body will get used to the various strenuous exercise exercises. As the physical activity no longer becomes unfamiliar to the body, the muscles will not become numb. Furthermore, diet, lifestyle, sleep, stress and age can be decisive for how well you feel. However, there is no treatment for soreness and it must go away on its own with the help of time.

Can you train when you are tired 

Whether one should exercise when one is stubborn or not is a controversial topic. Many people think that it goes just fine if you only feel a little soreness. If it is so powerful that you struggle to move the muscles, it can be nice to take it easy. It is also said that exercising with a lot of soreness can risk ruining the body's recovery. The answer to this question should therefore be determined by how one feels individually. If you feel that the soreness is so low that it does not affect you to a great extent, it will be okay to go to training. If you feel affected by the soreness, wait an extra day to get back to exercise. Listen to the body and let the muscles rest and recover.

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