Login | February 24, 2020

The warm up Part 2

Pete’s World

Published: February 3, 2020

Last week I talked about both the physiological and performance benefits of warming up prior to your exercise activity and/or sporting event. And I concluded by suggesting dynamic warm-ups as the means with which to begin those workouts. Dynamic warm-ups better prepare the body for the demands of training and competition when compared to the traditional nonspecific static stretching warm-up routines we’ve all utilized for decades.
The dynamic warm-up is a relatively new, yet pretty well accepted device within the world of athletics. And it can be defined as a melding of stretching and integrated movements––sometimes at movement-specific speeds––such that parameters like muscular strength, mobility, stability, balance, coordination, agility and/or power are elevated far above the sedentary level. Such warm-ups can include yoga and Pilates movements, agility drills, balance and plyometric exercises, and foam rolling.
Now what we’re talking about with respect to the movements and ranges of motion in a dynamic warm-up are patterns that are more complete and more diverse than, for example, the limited ranges of motions that occur in running, cycling, swimming, and lifting exercises, etc. As such, that dictum makes this kind of warm-up a far sight more comprehensive than traditional stretching routines.
A good example of a dynamic warm-up might be this 10-minute routine: two circuits of (jog for one minute/high knees for 30 seconds/butt kicks for 30 seconds/high kicks for 30 seconds/lateral shuffles for 30 seconds per side/lateral lunges for five reps per side/body weight squats for 10 reps/alternating forward lunges for five reps per side).
Okay, that’s just one of a multitude of pre-scripted dynamic warm-up routines. If you choose to use one of these ready-mades you need only to seek out a routine that matches your activity/sport - and I’ve included some really good websites here to assist you in your search.
For general exercise routines: https://yurielkaim.com/dynamic-warm-up-exercises/.
For running: https://www.runnersworld.com/health-injuries/a20809473/five-exercises-to-do-before-every-run/
For youth athletes: https://www.activekids.com/soccer/articles/10-dynamic-warm-up-exercises-for-youth-athletes f
For those with arthritis: https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/workouts/simple-routines/dynamic-stretching.php
But…you can also go this dynamic warm-up thing on your own.
Now I’ve always loved being hands on with respect to constructing my workout routines, so devising a dynamic warm-up falls right into my wheel house. If you’re also hands-on, here’s some things you’ll want to consider when you decide to put together your dynamic warm-up.
1) Start with an activity that promotes blood flow
Make sure to begin the warm-up with a light jog, easy stationary bike spin, or the elliptical for a minute or two to encourage increased blood to the muscles - this to kick start the cardiorespiratory system and to increase core temperature.
2) Activate the muscle groups that are integral to your sport or exercise routine
Think about the muscle groups you’re targeting in your main routine, and then work them in your warm-up. By doing so you’ll improve the form and technique that’s so crucial to the proper execution of the exercise(s).
3) Practice the movement patterns intrinsic to your event/exercise
Here we’re talking about practicing the movements, be it forward propulsion, jumping, changes of direction, pivoting, pushing, pulling, etc. Go through the full range of motions such that you can condition your muscles to respond automatically to what the brain is thinking.
4) Work in drills to get you up to game/event speeds
If you’re a runner, swimmer, cyclist, sprinter, etc., where movement is a key component of your sport, then make sure to incorporate some acceleration drills into your warm-up. You want to gradually get your body geared up to workout/game speeds such that when you begin your event/exercise your body is firing on all cylinders.
The dynamic warm-up, it’s not only be a great way to prepare your muscles and cardiorespiratory system for a workout/event, it’s also a wonderful motivational tool for the brain.
Give it a shot…I think you’ll agree.