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Why do we warm up?
Welcome to our first “Wisdom Wednesday” blog post! Every Wednesday we will be providing our readers with a little extra knowledge for the week. The topics will vary from fitness, nutrition, sleep and everything in between. Our first topic of discussion is the dreaded “WARM UP”! It’s a question many of us have asked, “why do we have to warm up?” After all, everyone hates to warm up, right? “This is soooo boring!” “This is taking forever!” “I just want to workout already!” Sound familiar? Of course it does because those thoughts process through our minds on a daily basis during warm ups. Who doesn’t want to get to the meat of the workout and have some fun right away?? The workout is where the fun begins.
What most of us don’t understand is why we warm up and why it’s of the utmost importance. So why do we? The purpose of a warm up is to get the body moving through a full range of motion, get some blood flowing and get us “warm”. During the warm up, the goal is to increase our body temperature, as well as our muscle temperature. By doing this, we are improving our muscle elasticity and the ease at which our muscles relax and contract. The chances of pulling or straining a muscle will decrease. We are drastically reducing the risk for injury. Think about it, have you ever tweaked a muscle in your back from a random quick movement in normal day life? Jumped away from something that scared you and felt a pull somewhere? Picked up an ice chest and strained your back? Often times, we hurt ourselves outside of the gym because our bodies aren’t properly prepped for the movement.
Warming up gives our body the tender, loving care that it deserves. Let’s face it, nobody gets younger, we only get older. The older the body, the more attention it needs. By warming up properly, we will reduce the stress on our joints and tendons because we have “loosened” the joints. Lubricated joints provide for safer, explosive power when performing lifts like the clean and jerk or the snatch. So essentially, the better the warm up, the better your lifts will be.
“But I’m already really warm and we still have a thousand warm up back squats before the actual back squats?” Ok, maybe not one thousand, but it feels like it some days. These are the times during our “WOD Prep” that we are prepping our bodies to handle the load and preparing us to reach our personal bests. Yes, our bodies are already warm and our temperature is on the rise, but we still have to psychologically and physically prepare our bodies to move a heavy load. Smaller increases in weight, with sufficient rest between sets, will ultimately lead to better technique and performance. So next time we’re lifting, try it. Don’t make a fifty pound increase, jump up ten pounds or maybe twenty each round. See how much better you’re feeling by the time you do get to those working sets.
On the other days that we don’t necessarily lift, this WOD Prep time is meant to focus on skill components. This is your time where you can get valuable learning and coaching. You can improve your pull ups and muscle ups. You can work on some double unders. Simply, go over proper technique on a movement as a class. Ask your coach for tips on technique or performance. That’s what we are here for. To coach you and to be sure that you never stop learning. You’re here for an hour so put in the work and don’t waste any second you’re here. Always remember, hard work pays off! Now, go enjoy your Wednesday people!