Casual Fridays: Musings on Warming Up

What is a warm-up? It is an essential part of your workout, so don't skip it! Your warm-up should serve the following fuctions:

  • Move through your joints.  Move through the full range of motion of every joint in your body paying particular attention to the joints that you use for your activity (if you are a dancer or aerialist that means all of them). This is not stretching, it is just moving and breaking up the stiffness that accumulates when we sleep or sit around.
  • Get the body warm, of course. That means cardio. As we've discussed previously, your muscles are happiest stretching at 1-2 degrees above your normal body temperature. Cardio can be any kind of activity that elevates your heart rate and gets you sweating a little. I like burpees because in two minutes I'm huffing and my heart is going fast, but it can be anything that works for you.
  • Set your intentions. Envision your workout. Take a few deep breaths before you go into your full training session and picture the things that you want to accomplish, the more detailed the better. Make some goals for yourself, feel your body, and leave everything else behind. Get into the moment. (Tip: a fitness journal is beneficial in this regard.)
 
Warm-up for happier bending!

Warm-up for happier bending!

  Warming up in my Spiderman unitard can get a bit clausterphobic, so I just wear a backwarmer.  [Photo: Tim Hunter for Devil's Playground LA.]

 

Warming up in my Spiderman unitard can get a bit clausterphobic, so I just wear a backwarmer.  [Photo: Tim Hunter for Devil's Playground LA.]

 

Take 10-15 minutes to do these three things and your workout will be far more productive; and you'll be less prone to injury, distraction, and aimlessness.

P.S., A simple tube of warm, cozy material to retain the body heat you've generated can extend the amount of time you're able to spend on bending. Shamless plug: We sell the cozy tube you seek.  Fun fact for extra warmth:  made by my Mom. :)