Warm up and
a doubt two of the most neglected areas in strength and conditioning are
warming up properly and improving flexibility.
Understandably, time is a precious commodity and workouts need to be as
efficient as possible; but eliminating or "rushing" through with these
activities is a mistake and can limit your potential gains.
Why Warm ups are important?
the body's core temperature to prepare for intense activity: It is very important that the systems of the body (muscular,
skeletal, cardio-respiratory, nervous) be allowed to ease into intense
physical activity. This allows the soft tissue (muscle, tendons, and
ligaments) to become more pliable which in turn can reduce the chance of
incurring an injury while training.
In addition, elevating the
heart and breathing rate slightly prior to exercise is also of
the mind for intense often "hard work": Many times our minds are elsewhere when we enter the training
center and we are a bit distracted.
Spending a few minutes on "low level" exercises is important to
"clear the head" and focus on the task at hand, which is becoming stronger
and in better condition.
for the opportunity to work on "smaller" yet vital aspects of physical
conditioning: Items such as general balance, form
running, hip mobility, shoulder stabilization, and "core" strength are all
very important in the development of young athletes. These areas require attention and are
often overlooked in many training programs. By performing these exercises are part
of our warm up routine we are able to address these vital areas.
Types of Warm ups.
Warm up: 3-5 minutes of a
rhythmic cardiovascular activity performed at a moderate pace (enough to
start sweating). Stationary bike, elliptical machine, stair master, or
treadmill are examples.
Warm Up: This is a series of movement or body
weight exercises designed to create flexibility and mobility within a
specific area of the body.
Warm Up: This would include a low level set of a
specific movement. For example
performing a lighter set of 10 repetitions in the bench press before
moving on to your main set.
What is Flexibility?
Flexibility is defined as
the range of motion (ROM) around a specific joint or body area. Too often flexibility or being flexible is classified
as being able to perform some sort of body contortion, such as performing a
"split", or being able to touch your toes.
These two examples are specific "skills" that although may be impressive
have no impact on improving athletic flexibility.
How to develop flexibility?
performing a sensible training routine which includes a full body strength
training routine (with dynamic warm up) is more than enough for developing
flexibility, provided that each exercise is performed in a slow and controlled
fashion and through the greatest range of motion possible. However, certain individuals may need more
attention in obtaining an adequate level of flexibility which is where a static
stretching routine is often prescribed.
Static stretching, usually performed with a stretch band, is whereby
limbs of the body are help in various positions for a period of time, usually
10-15 seconds. When this is prescribed
it is important to perform these exercises after all other training is
done. For example: General warm up - dynamic warm
up - strength training routine - static flexibility routine.
Band Stretch Routine
Dynamic Warm Up-Running Workouts
Strength Training Warm Up