Many people know that they should warm up before exercise. But why and how is the question that will be addressed in today’s blog post.
As a principle, a warm up should harmonically take a limp through a range of motion larger than that used in the event you’re warming up for. This readies the co-ordination of nerve pathways, muscle elasticity and blood flow. Secondly the warm up should increase heart rate.
For runners, an example warm up would therefore look like this
30 seconds of each. 4 sets of each
This way we’re elevating heart rate, increasing muscle elasticity and neural co-ordination and really reducing our chance of injury
The problem with stretchingÂ is it doesn’t do any of the above; that’s right, it does’t increase muscle elasticity. In fact, stretching may desensitise stretch reflexes that stop muscles over-straining themselves. This may result in chronic strain and therefore injury.
Stretching has it’s place in activities that do require large ranges of motion like dancing and gymnasticsÂ but only after a proper warm up. These stretches should be held for 30-60 seconds to get the full benefit
And that’s a very simple but effective guide on warming up. Any questions, just post in the comment box below or catch us via social media
Written byÂ Elliott Reid, Osteopath and Personal Trainer at TheÂ Revitalize Health and Fitness Clinic, Gravesend.Â FollowÂ Elliott on Twitter