Your warm-ups are particularly important to your workout's success because you are priming your body to tolerate resistance. It's all about creating an environment where your nervous system feels safe to be mobile and effectively contract muscles.
If you take the time to do this correctly, you can see results much faster and reduce your injury risk.
So what is the best way to warm-up? Stretching, jogging, jumping jacks?
I believe the best way to warm-up is to implement a series of mobility drills throughout most, if not all, of your joints.
These repetitive movement drills fluidly move the joint (usually in circular motions) throughout the entire range of motion that joint was designed to move. These mobility drills are important for this reason:
They provide feedback to your nervous system to activate muscles and generate strength via a phenomenon called the arthokinematic reflex (1).
Your bones are...
I emphasize the importance of biomechanics all the time, but I've never taken the time to define what it means, why it's important, and how to apply it to your exercise.
Check out my video I created here that teaches biomechanics for fitness instructors.
According to dictionary.com, biomechanics means "the study of the mechanical laws relating to the movement or structure of living organisms."
Let's break that down a little, because there are a few key terms within that definition.
Mechanical laws mean the laws of physics (remember Newton's laws from third grade?) that play into movement under different conditions. Each time you lift a weight, certain laws dictate how heavy it feels and how much "stress" will be applied to your system. This is important because it helps to provide a "framework" using mathematics to determine optimal exercise.
A second important term from that definition is the "structure...