There are smart people who value the importance of a good warm up and unfortunately there are people who don’t warm up at all, but mixed into both of those categories are a huge amount who don’t know how to warm up correctly. Below is a very simple guide on how and why it’s important that you warm up and prepare your body for a good training session.
When warming up the body you are preparing the mind, joints, muscle tissues and respiratory/cardiovascular systems of the body to be put through their paces and to be able to cope with the fitness enhancing overloading process that occurs during a training session.
First off, I would not recommend stretching cold static immobile muscles when preparing for a training session; imagine your muscles are like plasticine, when plasticine is cold it breaks when stretched, when it’s been warmed up in the hands it stretches with ease. Your muscles are very similar, so remember to move the body and get the blood pumping and some warmth in the muscles before you do any sort of stretching. Usually a minimum of 5 minutes of light intensity mobilization does the trick, but if you need longer and you don’t feel like there is sufficient heat in the muscles, then make the warm up personal to you and increase your warm up time accordingly.
When your body is at rest the joints are static and they rest a little closer together. Once you start to move about, synovial fluid is moved throughout the joints and this slightly thickens the tissues between the joints creating a shock absorber. This shock absorber is what protects your joints and lessens the impact and stress that is inflicted upon the joints throughout your exercise session.
So no matter what sport/class your preparing for, you should allow this process to take place by performing 5 minutes of a low impact/low weight bearing activity. This is especially prevalent when your exercise sessions involves a lot of high impact or plyometric(explosive) exercises. If you bear in mind your weight triples through your joints when you place your feet down during a high impact activity, a lot of wear and tear can take place within the first 5 minutes, add a few years of training into the equation and your joints will degenerate quicker than if you were to have warmed up correctly.
If you have any further questions, please contact me directly(see opposite) via my website, thank you.
Faye believes each body requires a minimum input of a particular essential fitness ingredient, be it: a cleaner diet, clearer mindset, better scheduled training sessions, more relaxation, some functional training or just a general lifestyle tweak or two.