Warm up routine – gently does it
A good warm up is essential in training and racing. Now is your opportunity to learn how to warm up correctly, as well as your chance to understand “that those strange people were never trying to push the wall down after all.”
Warming up correctly
The reason behind a decent warm up is mainly to assist you in avoiding injuries and the aches and pains that come with exercise. The physiological reason is to assist your circulatory system in pumping the blood carrying oxygen to your muscles. A warm up can consist of a light walk before exercise and if you have a history of poor circulation, then a warm shower will go a long way in assisting your circulatory system. Once you have activated your system, you can further assist it by doing the following warm up routine which consist of a few exercises.
Warm up exercises
Head (neck). Start with your chin in close to your chest and begin rotating your head clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Repeat exercise a few times. Do slowly – don’t jerk. Please, note that in some circles this exercise is considered dangerous, so if you have any problems with your neck and vertebrae exclude this from your routine.
Shoulders, arms and torso. Start by shrugging your shoulders. Gently swing your arms, then twist round lightly at the waist, roll your shoulders and circle your wrists.
Now stand with your legs slightly apart with the palms of your hands against the side of your legs. Lean gently to the left running your hand down your leg towards your knee, change to the right side going through the same routine. Repeat a few times.
Legs. Lean forward gently and place your hands against the wall. Keep your rear leg straightened with your heel touching the ground. Then bring your chest closer to the wall by bending your arms. Keep your leg straight and your heel flat on the ground. Hold in this position for 10/20 seconds.
Now concentrate on the foreleg, which is in a bent position. Straighten your leg slowly and push your chest away from the wall by straightening your arms. Hold in this position for 10/20 seconds. Alternate/change legs and repeat the routine a few times. Do the exercises slowly so that you stretch your muscles gently. No bouncing during the exercise.
Do the next exercise very slowly. Balance on your left leg, supporting yourself by holding onto something stable. Bend your right knee slightly, bring one foot up behind you and grasp the ankle/right foot with your left hand and vise versa for quad stretch – this is for a more natural movement of the knee. Pull your heel gently towards your buttocks, keeping your knees together. Feel the stretch at the front of your thigh (quadriceps. Hold for 10 seconds and then change legs and repeat exercise. Please, note that in some circles this exercise is considered dangerous or a high risk exercise, so avoid this exercise unless you are supple (loose) in the thigh (quadricep) area and have no history of injury in this area.
Ankles and feet. Balance on your left leg, supporting yourself by holding onto something or someone for support. Point your right foot/toes forward. Gently rotate to make small circles your foot. Alternate/change legs and repeat procedure.
Lastly, place your feet together. Hold onto a wall or ledge for balance then push up and down your toes for 10/20 seconds.
Always try to do this routine before you exercise and remember do slowly and gently without bouncing.
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Author: Gavin Doyle