The Art Of Warming Up
This blog is about one of my favourite things in the fitness world. Warm Ups.
I like warm ups as much as I like ice cream and sunshine. Not even kidding. I wish more people felt the same way, so I’m sharing my love for warm ups and I hope you can better understand WHY I spend so much time and energy making sure you are warming up properly every day.
CrossFit class. 4:00pm. Warm up time. The part where you usually just chat with your friends while moving around without really thinking about what you are doing. The part where you are not really listening to your coach or probably just thinking about what you will eat after the class. ’’Why should I care?’’ you think. ’’It’s just a warm up.’’ Big mistake.
The warm up is the ideal opportunity to center yourself, reinforce & practice technical movements and get mentally ready for what is ahead of you.
You are not tired (yet), so you can focus all your energy on moving WELL. You can focus on your breathing, your bracing while doing a ‘’basic’’ movement like an air squat and I bet that 400# back squat you wish to perform during the class will feel way better.
It’s time to teach your body how it’s done so it remembers when the load gets heavy. Always move the empty bar as if it was the heaviest thing in the world.
With proper focus during your warm up, you can increase your performance. You can ’’wake up’’ and activate those muscles that usually take a while to enter into play (or don’t at all) as they should. This will help increase your stability, range of motion and decrease muscular stiffness and chances of injury. It will also teach you to move with awareness and purpose. How can you hope to perform at your best, if you’re not even focussing on the ‘’easiest’’ part of the day, aka the warm up.
How is it gonna feel when it’s hard and heavy? I’ll let you guess the answer here...
When you start to warm up in class, as your heart rate and body temperature increase, your joints will loosen and more blood flow will get to your muscles. That means warm, well-lubricated joints ready to accomplish any explosive/heavy/challenging movements. That means less stress on tendons and joints, better range of motion and elasticity, and therefore less likely to get injured (strain or tear). A proper warm-up will also help your body to deliver more efficiently the needed oxygen and nutrients to working muscles. Not to mention all the mental benefits. Better focus, better concentration, more prepared!
Next time you go to the gym, try this: pay attention to HOW you move and bring 100% focus during your warm up. You will thank me later!!