Is it really worth doing a warm up for cycling?

Skipping your warm-up may save time, but your performance will suffer - here’s what you need to know about which warm-ups work best

Image shows Team DSM riders warming up.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele)

Warming up is one of those unquestioned things that virtually everyone does before training and competing. Think back to your earliest PE lesson at school. Chances are, you did some stretching, waved your arms and legs around and went for a short jog “to get your heart and muscles going”. That has translated into cycling all the way up to Grand Tours, with dedicated time and facilities for warming up. 

A warm-up before a training session or race is considered essential for preparing your body for exercise - not only will it help you to perform better, but it will also help protect your body from common cycling injuries. But does it actually work? And if so, how does it work, and how do we get maximum benefit from it? 

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