Winter Warm Ups

Posted on: December 15th, 2014 by chriswilson

Dark, rain, wind and snow, it’s never very inviting to train at this time of the year.  With the colder temperatures your body may not work quite as efficiently—muscles feel tight, joints feel stiff and a general feeling of sluggishness.  To help overcome this, it can be really beneficial to spend a few minutes warming up before heading out.

Starting with a light continuous movement, you’ll feel your heart rate increasing almost immediately; it’s preparing the body for exercise. The increase in heart rate, is pumping fresh oxygen rich blood around the muscles, with the increased exertion, the muscles and the body heat up.  The muscles ‘wake up’, become more elastic and flexible allowing an increase in the range of mobility around the joints.  Include some stretching at this stage, these can be static or dynamic.  Whichever you include in your session, always start with easy movements not over stretching muscles, then gradually increase the range of movement as the muscles warm up and become longer.  If static stretches, don’t over stretch, but when feeling as good (not painful) stretch, hold – relax and breath out gently increasing the stretch.  Always be in tune with your body, notice the differences in symmetry between each side/ body segment and ask why is a muscle feeling tight?  It could be overworking to compensate for some dysfunction elsewhere or it could just be a reaction to a heavy weeks training.  Dynamic, functional movements, can be more specific to the actions the body is going to perform. Start with easy controlled movements slowly increasing the range and complexity of movements.   The exercises require strong core, balance, stability and motor control.

Always follow stretching with some functional movement specific to the actions you are about to to perform. 

Here’s a sample full body warm up—12 exercises, 30 seconds per exercise ready to go in 6 minutes!

Head movements  (side to side , forwards/backwards  – not full circular motion)

Shadow boxing (shoulders, trunk rotation)

Shoulder rotations (forwards and backwards)

Standing Press ups (press up against wall, pushing away from wall and absorbing the movement to wall, creating one continuous rebounding movement)

Side bends (lower lumbar vertebrae/ muscle groups, ITB)

Trunk rotations (lower lumbar vertebrae, internal/external obliques)

Tip Toe Rolls (warm up calf’s and ankles) – rise up on the foot into a tip toe position and lower

Jog on the spot (increase heartbeat, warm up legs)

Gentle squats (warm up/ stretch glutes, hamstrings, calf’s, quadriceps and lower back)

Lateral lunges (stretch adductors, ITB and medial hamstrings)

Straight Back, forward bends (glutes, hamstrings)

High knees (stretch glutes, warm up hip flexors, hamstrings & quadriceps) (functional resetting)

‘A’ Skip (high knees, feet horizontal to ground, pull heal up parallel to standing leg, foot strikes underneath the body)  (functional resetting)

Feel free to chop and change this, it will need tailoring to the activity, your personal strengths and weakness and the time /space available.

If you need any help, pop in to see Chris.