How effective is your warm-up routine?

Everyone knows that they should warm up prior to engaging in physical activity but many of us either entirely skip the warm-up or mindlessly do a few moves that we’ve always done and get on with the day. Here is why we should make a bit more effort to warm-up properly and how to do it. 

  1. Warming up means raising your core body temperature and getting the body focused and ready for more rigorous movement. Even if it’s hot outside, a proper warm-up is necessary for the safety of your joints, muscles, nerves, and cardiorespiratory system. Without a proper warm-up, you are subjecting your body to injury. 
  2. Warming up prepares you both physically and mentally for what you are about to do. Skimping out on your warm-up will make it harder to focus and engage fully in your activity from the beginning, losing out on precious training time and energy.  
  3. The how! A warm-up should be activity-specific and modified based on personal needs. All effective warm-ups should: 

 - increasing heart-rate and circulation: move around until you are lightly sweating and breathing heavier. 

- Mobilize joints: Move your joints through their individual range of motion. Perform movements that are similar to what you will be doing in your activity. 

- Lengthen muscles: In a dynamic stretch using your breath and wave-like motions. Remember that there are many different forms of stretching and that you should not hold stretches longer than 15 seconds until after an activity is complete. 

  1. An effective warm-up lasts 15-20 minutes, longer at the start of the day and shorter after other activity or if preparing for mild to easy movements. Remember to take a few minutes to re-connect with your body and perform some warm-up moves if you’ve taken a break. 
  1. By the end of your warm-up you should be lightly sweating, breathing heavier than normal, and our joints and muscles should move easily through your range of motion. 
  2. FST can be performed to achieve all the goals of a proper warm-up prior to a workout or event by a trained practitioner. Contact me if you would like to learn more!