Sunday, January 17, 2010

Warm up and stretching

The Warm Up

Warm up and stretching before you begin any sort of vigorous activity such as a martial arts class is essential in order that you don't injure yourself, especially as you get older. There are many ways to do it, but this is how i go about it.

First phase, its good to raise the core temperature of the body, this can be achieved with motions that dont stretch you to your limits, e.g. light running or jogging, skipping, burpees, push ups, buny hops etc. after at least 5 minutes of continuous exercise in anyone or all of the above or similar, you should feel yourself warming up with the first drops of sweat appearing on your skin.

Second phase go straight into the warm up of every major joint of the body like shoulder neck, elbow wrist, hips, knee and ankle, linear and rotational movements of all the major joints.

Third phase of the warm up consists of taking the major body parts, close to the maximum extention of motion that you will be experiencing in the martial arts class.

This maybe such exercise such as swinging your leg like a pendulum while standing on the other, start of low and increase the height gradually, to your front and back and also to the side.

Strecthing the back, legs arms etc but dont hold the stretch as soon as you have reached the maximum point you are able to do at that particular time release and do the other side never hold the maximum stretch point and most important of all never hold your breath during warm up or stretching.

The whole routine should take somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes to complete. Now you are ready for the martial arts class.

The Warm Down

After the martial arts class you may warm down again with strength exercises like push ups, burpees etc etc.

Now is the time to do deep stretching excersies where you hold the stretch once you have reached your peak and then try for alittle more, depending upon how you feel, imo this is the point where you train to get more flexibility into your body, that is when your piping hot at the end of the martial arts class and everything can give just that little bit more.

And remember never hold your breath.

To conclude in point form.

1. Warm up
First bring up the core temperature of the body with any of the following,

a. Running or skipping
b. Sprinting short distances
c. Joint/limb warm up
d. Calisthenics
e. Strength exercises
f. Dynamic strechting-range of motion

2. Warm- down

w. Limb/joint warm down
x. Strength exercises
y. Static strechting
z. other.