If you are going into a lifting session that consists of compound exercises, such as squats, bench, or deadlifts, then warming up should be an essential part of your training.
A proper warm up will generate blood flow throughout your muscles and lubricate your joints in order for you to be fully prepared for your workout. Most importantly, this will help prevent injury and allow you to perform proper technique, which will maximize results in the gym.
Enough said for “Why you should warm up”, as it is very straight forward, but now for the real question of “How do you warm up?”
Lets begin by saying, static stretching (holding a position with your muscles for a period of time) is not optimal for performing in the gym, in fact, it is shown to cause decrease in muscle power and strength because it impairs the stability of your joints, and can make you feel weaker or less stable during your workout. This is most prone to happen specifically when stretch is held for a minute or more.
With this said, what you should be doing is performing dynamic stretches before workouts, which is a active way of stretching that does not consist of a position held for a prolonged period of time. The active isolated stretches will allow maximized blood flow to the muscles being targeted and will make your body aware and ready to perform in the gym or sport. Dynamic stretching has been shown to affect strength and athletic performance positively when done as a warm up.
This video displays a proven full body dynamic warm up routine that will aid you in keeping your body healthy, strong, and powerful.