Warming up. Let’s be honest, sometimes it doesn't happen! It can feel like there isn't the time, or be hard to know what to actually do to warm up.
Do you just do a few basic leg stretches? Do you do a bit of ‘cardio’? Or do you feel this will be covered in the workout anyway?
Many fitness experts agree that the perfect warm up has just a few basic elements. Hit those, and you will be guaranteed more successful workouts, be less injury prone and have a reduced likelihood of muscle soreness post workout. Win-win!
The order of these basic warm up elements can vary, and can also be determined by preference or even how a person feels on that day. However, here's my personal favourite approach to warming up. Hands down, I think this is the BEST way to get prepped for sessions.
Give these a go next and see how you feel;
This one is very much down to preference and how ready you feel you are to start the session after any recent exercise. On days when I'm particularly sore/stiff, I add in a few minutes of cardio, which really helps with the initial blood flow into the muscles. This could be anything from a rower or bike, to body weight movements such as air squats.
SMR is self-massage through various tools such as foam rollers, trigger point balls or Theraguns. Try beginning with a tool that is less dense, and slowly progress to a denser tool such as a lacrosse ball. Go slowly through each area, hitting those tight areas, whilst continuing to breathe and relax.
This area focuses on improving control through greater ranges of motion of the joint. It’s important to be able to have the ability to reach ranges, as well as control them. By taking advantage of the temporary ‘relief’ from SMR, we can gradually increase your control at varying joint angles. Including a range of both static mobility and dynamic mobility covers all basis. Not only will mobility help you move better, but it can also help you begin to break a sweat for the workout ahead.
This is going to make sure the necessary muscles are primed and firing. Not only will you work to activate specific muscles and movement patterns, but it is also very effective to finish with a high neural driven, total body movement such as a jump, sprint or throw.
Each stage will take around two to five minutes, at the most, and should include at least one to three different movements selected specifically from the session for that day. This approach can be used before ANY workout, so now there’s no excuse...get your warm ups in!
Thanks to Karolina Grabowska for the image