Sunday, July 10, 2011

Proper Warm-up Technique

Why should I warm up?

Jack Lazarus

People always wonder and the truth is there are multiple benefits to showing up 15 minutes early to your personal training appointment. The warm up is necessary so that your muscles are loose and warm before engaging in physical activity like working with your trainer or taking kettlebell. But you should also be doing more than just spending some time on a treadmill to get warm.

One of the best things you can do to warm up is a dynamic stretching routine done before engaging in physical activity. Dynamic stretching is movement stretches that contract and relax your muscles quickly so that blood is in the muscles that are about to be worked. Prior to exercise these are the most beneficial. Static stretching should always be done post workout. Static stretching re-elongates the muscles that were just worked and allows them to repair easier. Not to mention the added flexibility that comes along with stretching. And did you know that stretching can even make you stronger? When we lift weights we cause our muscles to contract or shorten and when we stretch we allow our muscles to elongate or lengthen. Added flexibility allows for muscles to become stronger and recover quicker. That’s why professional athletes put so much emphasis on stretching. Athletes spend a solid 15 minutes preparing for the workout and hour to ninety minutes in the work out and generally finish off with as much as an hour of stretching post workout for recovery.

Now I realize that none of us living in the real world have time to do nothing but eat sleep train repeat every day, but take a page from the athletes’ book. Show up 15 minutes early for your appointment with your trainer. Spend ten minutes doing cardio to get warm and the last five minutes doing dynamic stretching and focusing on what is to come. Then work as hard as you can during your appointment then finish off by doing 10 minutes of cool down time to allow your heart rate to decelerate and 15 minutes of static hold stretching. Not only will you be stronger but also you will be less sore the next day. And your trainer will be happy with you for taking the initiative to show up and be ready by the time he/she s ready for you.

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