I have been guilty of this, and I know you have been too. What I am referring to is working out without your body being properly prepared for the physical activity. You may be thinking, what’s the big deal? Warming up didn’t seem to make much of a difference.
Well, as someone who trains seniors, I notice how well they performed at a given exercise when they are warmed up as opposed to when they are not. Also, that’s not to forget the biggest reason to warm up which is injury prevention. I’m sure you know that as we get older, it becomes easier to get injured and longer to recover from them. So to help you prepare for exercise and stave off injuries, here are my 3 ways to warm up properly.
Foam Rolling- When I showed a foam roller to people in my classes, their first reaction was that it was a “pool noodle.” While they may be good in the water, foam rolling helps to increase blood flow and get out the stiff spots in your body. This is important because our movement is greatly affected by being stiff/tight in certain areas.
Dynamic Stretching– If you have ever seen a swimmer right before they get in the pool, they aggressively swing their arms. The reason for the arm swings which is dynamic stretches is to prepare for the race. Try doing arm/leg swings forward and backward for each leg for 30 seconds.
Static stretching- I usually only prescribe static stretching pre-workout when someone has major muscular imbalances. Do you sit for long periods of time? Do you participate in activities that are repetitive in nature? If so, you probably have a muscular imbalance. The areas that I would have most people stretch as pre-workout are their hamstrings, calves, quads and hip flexors, and their chest.