Warm Up: Do's and Dont's
When you plan your workout your mind is already set on gains. But what about your body? Will it be ready to fire right away?
WHY WARM UP?
- a good warm up improves your performance
- it helps reduce the risk of injuries
- last but not least - it boosts you overall movement skills
IS STRETCHING A GOOD WARM UP?
Warm up and stretching are not the same thing.
However, certain type of stretching can fit well in your warm-up routine.
When choosing warm up exercises it is important to know the difference between static and dynamic stretching.
Static stretching means assuming a position, lengthening the muscle and holding the stretch at the end range of the movement for about 10 - 30 seconds.
Dynamic stretching involves rapid active movements through the range of motion without holding end positions.
SO, WHAT SHOULD A WARM UP LOOK LIKE?
Use active movements that will gradually mobilize muscles within their range of motion. Aim at 8- 10 repetitions for each movement of choice.
Break a sweat.
The goal is to get the blood flowing and raise your body's temperature. Some colour in your cheeks and first breaks of sweat tell you you're on your way. Intensity is important, but keep it sub-maximal.
Imitate your workout routine.
Depending on the exercises you are about to perform, focus your warm-up on lateral, rotational, upper and lower body targeting movements.
Feel the activation.
Establish a mind-body connection to the main muscles you will be targeting. Remember this feeling and use it through your workout to avoid compensating movement patterns and ensure better and faster results.
Research has shown negative impacts of longer static stretching immediately before workout sessions. It's a a better option to leave it for cooling down or any other times during the day.
Note: People with flexibility issues and athletes of specific sports use static stretching before workouts, but follow it with a dynamic routine.
Not to be confused with dynamic stretching. Ballistic stretching involves vigorous bouncing at the end range of movement. Don't do it before, or after workout, or ever for that matter.
No pain no gain.
Wrong, warm-up is not a challenge. Getting too pushy on the flexibility and mobility issues is a highway to injury more than a short cut to success.
Keep static stretching for after workout sessions, and warm yourself up with dynamic movements according to your upcoming workout routine.
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