Warm ups. The time before a workout where you get your body warm, loosened up and ready to work.
This little bit of time before a sweat sesh is super important- I can not stress this enough. I know SO many people who have gotten injuries from training caused by not warming up properly, myself included. Myself VERY included!
- I was once running late to my favorite kickboxing class and I missed the warm up by the time I got my hands wrapped. I just jumped into the class and started with the kick series we were doing, which didn’t seem like a big deal…until a swift right roundhouse kick left me with a torn oblique muscle. It really hurt when I laughed, coughed etc for about 2-3 solid weeks. I had to rest it and take days off from working out. When I did workout again, I had to be very delicate with my right side. It totally sucked and felt like an eternity.
- I was doing hot yoga and was a little too ambitious with a bound triangle pose and tore my hamstring, which I wrote about here. The room was hot, so I felt warmed up, but I wasn’t. When taking hot classes- always be mindful that you need to spend MORE time warming up than you think you do- the heat from the class will fool you into thinking you are more limber than you are. This tear kept me out of commission for weeks (where I couldn’t workout) and then after that I couldn’t really squat, lunge or put any major pressure on my left hamstring for months. This also totally sucked.
- One of my BFF’s was running late to a boxing class and missed the warm up. One super strong right hook later, she pulled her oblique muscle and dislodged a rib!!! This kept her out of commission for 4 solid months. I know this sucked for her.
So, the moral of these stories? Warm up!! Even though it may seem like an unnecessary hassle, it will help prevent injuries. And injuries SUCK. No thank you.
What’s more annoying? Spending an extra 5-10 minutes warming up or getting injured and not being able to do anything active for a couple of months?
Yea- the latter is way more annoying, I agree. Those 5 little minutes can save you SOO much trouble.
The times where I have dealt with an injury I feel terrible because I know that it could’ve been prevented and I spend time kicking myself for not being more aware. Also, when I can’t workout, I start slowly losing it- I KNOW a lot of you are the same way right?!? It’s like…I feel sorry for Ben and Puffin when I’m injured HAHA! So for that alone, I try to be rigid with my warm ups and mobilization- gotta keep the inner “needs to sweat” bitch at bay!
So now that we all agree that we need to warm up for the sake of our bodies and safety, lets get to the how and what of the matter…
I like a moving, dynamic warm up- not static stretching.
Static stretching BEFORE a workout can leave your muscles too stretched out and can reduce performance during workouts- meaning you won’t be able to go as hard or run as fast. Which equals, less progress and more of a waste at the end of the day right? If you stretch before a workout, without being warmed up, you also risk creating tears in your muscles that could lead to injury once that workout actually starts. Save the static stretching for post workout!!
A dynamic warm up is one where you run through some movements to get your body moving- getting all your muscle areas going is key!
I like to do:
Samson Lunges to get my hips opened up
Air squats to get my legs and butt moving
Walk Outs to get my core/arms/legs limber
Down dog/Up down flow for the arms/core/legs
Ankle rolls to get the feet and ankles warm
Controlled Burpees- not too fast or aggressive, this is just to get warm not to win at the fastest burpee person contest!
Most good fitness classes with incorporate a dynamic warm up, but sometimes it is good to take the time to do some or all of these above on your own ahead of time to make sure you get completely warm. You also know what and where on your body needs a little extra love on any given day- pay attention to that and make sure you address any muscles/areas that feel a little tight. Give them a little extra love.
I also like to foam roll pre-workout and post workout! I will roll out any muscles that feel extra icky before a workout and it really helps me move better. For instance, if my hamstrings are sore from sprints, I will roll them and my calves out before a workout. I won’t spend a lot of time rolling out before a workout- just a couple of minutes. I save the real rolling work for post-workout.
Happy Friday Babes!
I have some fun weekend plans up ahead- a crazy workout sesh tomorrow followed by a girls night, then a fun yoga event on Sunday with friends. Fitness and Friends! My favorite combo.
Have a great, safe and limber weekend!