Standing Beside a Radiator Does Not Count as a Warm Up‏

stretching_exercises

I feel a tad hypocritical thinking about what I am going to discuss today.

Although I have wizened up on this subject recently it is something I neglected for years.

What am I speaking of you ask?

WARMING UP!

Although I am still young I am going to refer to a time when I was even younger.

Formerly I was able to rock into any training session be that sparring or an intense strength and conditioning session without any sign of a warm up.

In fact I used to lie down and only stood up for the beginning of the session.

My older and knowledgeable teammates always warned me that this was poor decision making. They were right, but I was young and my body could handle it.

NOT ANYMORE!

Due to the volume and the rigorous nature of the training I undertake a warm up is now essential.

If I don’t prepare myself properly for all training sessions it is impossible for me to get the best out of the training plus many other dangers which I am going to get onto.

This all applies to anyone who exercises.

Before embarking on any form of training session regardless of length, intensity and type you MUST warm up in an appropriate manner.

Your muscles, ligaments and joints need to be prepared in a relevant fashion.

It will also greatly decrease your likelihood of injury which is an obvious huge advantage. It can’t completely eradicate this but warming up will mean you have done everything you can to avoid injury.

If you are playing football there is no point focusing on upper body stretching compared to the legs. Likewise if you are playing tennis it would be beneficial to ensure your racquet arm is ready to be used heavily.

I would incorporate 2 types of stretching;

Static – Focusing on stretches where you are stationary aiming to hold at the furthest range of motion for 20-30 seconds.

Dynamic – Adding in more mobile stretches that should look to include exercise specific movements. This also helps to build the intensity of a warm up.

This will help greatly in relieving muscle tightness and soreness.

Your flexibility and range of motion will also hugely improve doing this which is great for your general well- being and can improve your athletic performance.  Also, lessens your chance of injury.

You can also use foam rollers and things such as lacrosse balls to self-massage. I wrote a big e-mail on this before so I won’t go into it too much but it helps to break up any tension in the muscles.

Usually to finish I will increase the intensity to spike my heart rate and get my heart and lungs ready to be used.

Things like some short sprints, push ups, star jumps and similar exercise are methods I will use.

This is very important as when I fail to do this I end up getting tired in the opening of my session until I get my body becomes accustomed to exercise.

Whereas when I do the more intense finish to the warm up my body is fully ready and able for the start and I have no scientific proof but I feel my cardiovascular capabilities are increased compared to if I didn’t do it.

For me to be recommending this is big news and means it is must follow advice.

A structured training session should be preceded by an equally structured warm up.

 

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