I want to talk to you about the importance of warming up before exercise. We have all heard as kids, “Hey you need to warm up first or you’re going to pull a muscle.” Well that’s correct, not only are you more likely to pull a muscle, you are also more prone to injury and soreness the older you get.
Below I will give you three quick tips on some warm up drills you can do the next time you are going to exercise at home, in a gym, or here at Florida Muay Thai.
#1 Start Slow– When you are young you don’t really think about this much. Most of the time you will throw your shoes on and then boom – you are off to the races! However, you want to make sure that your warm up takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes of constant, light movement. If you are sore at all this might need to last longer than 10-15 minutes. Either way, by the end of your warm up you should either be lightly sweating or your body should at least be warm to the touch.
#2 Don’t Stretch- Wait what do you mean don’t stretch, are you crazy?! Well no, what I am saying is a lot of people will use stretching as their warm up. They treat it as if they are doing something to get their body ready and they really are not.
Muscles are like rubber bands… if you pull them either too far or too quickly, they will pop. A lot of injuries happen not because of lack of stretching, but because of improper warm up. You want to make sure that you are doing things to get your heart rate up and getting your body nice and warm first. Then, and only then, if you want to stretch after your proper warm up, by all means go ahead because your body will be ready to do so.
#3 Do Proper Exercises- Uhhh what? I thought we were exercising, what does it matter which exercise I do? We are, however when you are warming up you want to choose a few exercises that are easy, but still hard enough that if you repeat them several times it will cause your body to warm up properly. Things like sprints are probably not a good idea to start with. But exercises like push ups and squats, or something that uses body weight and is not too strenuous is a better option. Now, if you can’t do push ups or full squats, you can always modify your range of motions. Maybe you use the wall for push ups or sit in a chair and stand up for squats. Remember you just need to do enough to get your heart rate up and body warm, you are not using this for a workout.
As always, train hard, be a beast!