Benefits of a Proper Warm Up:
• Increased Muscle Temperature – The temperature increases within muscles that are used during a warm-up routine. A warmed muscle both contracts more forcefully and relaxes more quickly. In this way, both speed and strength can be enhanced. Also, the probability of overstretching a muscle and causing injury is far less.
• Increased Body Temperature – This improves muscle elasticity, also reducing the risk of strains and pulls.
• Blood Vessels Dilation – This reduces the resistance to blood flow and lower stress on the heart.
• Improved Efficient Cooling – By activating the heat-dissipation mechanisms in the body (efficient sweating) an athlete can cool efficiently and help prevent overheating early in the event or race.
• Increased Blood Temperature – The temperature of blood increases as it travels through the muscles. As blood temperature rises, the binding of oxygen to hemoglobin weakens so oxygen is more readily available to working muscles, which may improve endurance.
• Improved Range of Motion – The range of motion around a joint is increased.
• Hormonal Changes – Your body increases its production of various hormones responsible for regulating energy production. During warm-up this balance of hormones makes more carbohydrates and fatty acids available for energy production.
• Mental Preparation – The warm-up is also a good time to mentally prepare for an event by clearing the mind, increasing focus, reviewing skills and strategy. Positive imagery can also relax the athlete and build concentration.
• 5 minute treadmill, exercise bike etc. (moderate intensity)
This compilation of flexibility exercises targets all the major muscle groups. Stretching should form a fundamental part of any exercise program and not just as part of the warm up.In fact, recent research suggests that static stretching may not be beneficial before training or athletic performance. Dynamic stretching seems to be more appropriate as part of the warm up.
The flexibility exercises on this page are classed as static stretches. When is static stretching best performed? Ideally, after an exercise session when the body is fully warm. I recommend you to use flexibility exercises like those below at the end of a training session, concentrate and stretch the muscles you are training at the moment.
• to increase flexibility and freedom of movement
• to reduce muscle tension
• to reduce the risk of muscle and tendon injuries
• stretch gently and slowly, keep breathing
• stretch to the point of tension – NEVER PAIN
• Stretch to just before the point of discomfort
• The feeling of tightness should diminish as you hold the stretch
• Breath out into the stretch. Avoid holding your breath
• hold the stretch for 10-20sec – DO NOT BOUNCE
• Shake out limbs between stretches
• Complete 2-3 stretches before moving onto the next exercise
Cool Down after workout
• to help remove muscle waste products
• to reduce muscle soreness and stiffness
• to enable you to compete again at the same level within a short period of time
• 2-3 minute light jog, or brisk walk immediately after sport
• A few minutes of stretching (emphasize on the major muscle groups you have used during your workout session)
The warm up and stretching generally should take you no more than 10-12 minutes, depending on which muscle groups are going to participate in your workout – make sure to pick the right stretching exercises to prepare the muscles for work.
The question is who, win in the long run?