WARM TO THE IDEA

DO YOU GO FROM ZERO TO 100 WHEN WORK­ING OUT? HERE’S WHY YOUR BODY WILL THANK YOU FOR IN­VEST­ING TIME IN A LONGER WARM-UP

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - WEEKEND -

With many peo­ple tak­ing on an in­creased ex­er­cise rou­tine over the warmer months it’s im­por­tant to start things right. Warm­ing up should be a part of any ex­er­cise rou­tine. Not only does it in­crease per­for­mance, it re­duces the risk of in­jury and paves the way for faster re­cov­ery. Try these meth­ods:

THE BODY HEAT WARM-UP

Oth­er­wise known as the “just move”. Go for a light walk or jog, row, skip or use the el­lip­ti­cal cross trainer. Gen­er­ally just move for around five to 10 min­utes. This will raise the heart rate and in­crease blood flow to the en­tire body.

DYNAMIC STRETCHING

This is a great way to pro­mote joint health and look af­ter your con­nec­tive tis­sue. It in­volves ro­tat­ing ev­ery joint in ev­ery di­rec­tion pos­si­ble. Think of swim­mers stand­ing be­hind their blocks be­fore big races. They wind­mill their arms, jump up and down and gen­er­ally look like they’re ex­pend­ing a bit of en­ergy. They un­der­stand the ben­e­fits of dynamic stretching to their per­for­mances. I twist, jump and move dy­nam­i­cally for two to three min­utes, start­ing out with the wrists and work­ing my way to the el­bows, shoul­ders, back, trunk, hips, knees then the an­kles. Make it fun and put a bit of oomph into it. It’ll have more ef­fect than static stretching (which you prob­a­bly did in your school PE lessons) be­cause it has the added ben­e­fit of get­ting the blood flow­ing and ac­ti­vat­ing the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem.

THE SPE­CIFIC WARM-UP

Tai­lor your warm-up to move through the range of mo­tion in the spe­cific ex­er­cise you’re go­ing to un­der­take. This is usu­ally per­formed at a slower, con­trolled pace to pro­mote mus­cle mem­ory, in­crease mus­cle func­tion, im­prove move­ment pat­terns, im­prove bal­ance and co-or­di­na­tion, pro­mote flex­i­bil­ity and in­crease your range of mo­tion. If you’re go­ing to be lift­ing weights or us­ing ex­ter­nal ob­jects, stay light in your warm-up and take the time to move with con­trol.

I like to com­plete all three of the warm-up meth­ods so I can best per­form the de­sired ex­er­cise with good me­chan­ics and con­sis­tency. Re­mem­ber, the hu­man body is a ma­chine. Just as with a car, we should avoid ac­cel­er­at­ing it one hun­dred per cent from a stand­ing start. If we try to push too hard with­out a proper warm-up, we in­evitably risk in­jury, lead­ing to med­i­cal and physio ex­penses down the track.

DREW GRIF­FITH

Gym owner Drew Grif­fith holds a Cert III and IV in Fit­ness and is a CrossFit Level 1 Coach. The strength and con­di­tion­ing trainer has been help­ing peo­ple achieve their health, weight, sport and fit­ness goals for the past 30 years.

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