Most people are aware that they need to do a warm up before they workout but most people don’t know the purpose of the warm up. Let me explain some of the concepts here so you can accomplish an effective warm up.
The fascial tissue is the connective tissue of the muscles. It’s the casing around the muscles and it goes throughout the muscles. That tissue converges and forms the tendon which attaches to the periosteum which is the casing around the bone. It is made out of the same material it’s just called something different depending on where it`s located.
Fascial tissue is made up of 70% collagen and it has fibrinogen and some elastin. The elastin makes it stretchy like spandex. Fascia has plastic properties and elastic properties. When you hold a stretch, you are working the plastic properties and when you do mobilization, (move through the range of motion only holding the end range of motion for a second) you work the elastic properties.
When you heat up the fascial tissue it gets more gummy and pliable; just like anything. If you cool it off it gets harder and more brittle. One of the purposes of the warm up is to heat up the fascia to make it more gummy for less injuries and greater range of motion. The other thing heating up the body does is it warms the fluid in the joints to make it less viscous and easier to move as well. This can be done with a hot tub, sauna, or by doing some cardio; whatever heats up the body will do.
Getting the body moving will help align the body as well. If you are doing a squat day you always warm up with the bar no matter how much you can lift. You will likely adjust your footing and your nervous system will relearn the movement pattern so when you put the heavy weight on there won’t be mistakes.
Going through the movement pattern will also align the tendons and ligaments. If something is out of place you may hear a little click or snap, crackle, pop; something like that; it’s just those tendons and ligaments falling into place. It’s much better to do that with just the bar instead of heavy weights.
What I Like To See For A Warm Up
Heat up the body with your choice of method. If you`re using a cardio machine the intensity should be low and you should have a sweat going for at least a couple minutes before your done.
Then I like mobilization to increase the range of motion. Mobilization is a form of dynamic stretching. Never do static stretching before an activity; static stretching (holding stretches) is good for a cool down after your workout. You will be tighter after holding stretches then before you do the stretching.
Increasing your range of motion will allow you to lift more weight and move through a wider movement pattern which makes exercises more effective. If you think about it, mobilization can be considered to be a strengthening exercise because you will be stronger after doing it.
Lengthening and strengthening in the right areas of the body are important to align the body so you will function with proper alignment. A lot of books have been written in the personal training field called ``Pain Free``. They are based on this concept. When you do mobilization, or stretching and strengthening, your body position is really important and in a lot of cases your foot position is where all that starts.
Everyone is out of alignment. We are all right or left handed, we drive, etc. Nobody is perfect or is perfectly symmetrical. Me personally, I play a lot of hockey so I am bent over to one side a lot. Then we function out of alignment which exasperates the issue. Eventually there will be pain and in some cases a joint replacement surgery.
When you lengthen and strengthen with proper alignment you will lengthen the right areas and strengthen the right areas that allow the body to function with proper alignment and then you will never need a knee replacement. In most cases this means your toes need to be pointed straight ahead which feels like pigeon toed for most people. An easy way to do this is to have your toes together and heels about an inch apart.
Mobilization is just holding the stretch for a second and then moving through the range of motion around the joint you are mobilizing and then repeat about 10 times. Doing this will work the elastic properties of the fascial tissue. It allows the fascia to come snapping back to its original position like an elastic.
Holding a stretch works the plastic properties of the fascia and it will stay stretched out like plastic. Dancers and yoga instructors get injuries due to this. Joints are stretched and lose with nothing holding the joints together tight. Mobilization allows you to improve the range of motion and still have the facial tissue tight on relaxation.
Mobilization is also more effective than stretching. If you hold a stretch for one minute and you mobilize for one minute, mobilizing will increase your range of motion more than holding the stretch.
My warm up will consist of mobilization then moving through the movement pattern I’m about to do with just the bar. If any part of my body is cold I will warm it up in some way first. My favorite way is the rowing machine.
I hope you liked the article. If you did, share it with friends. These are the types of issues I deal with daily with my clients in order to accomplish their fitness goals. I believe in a coach like approach and I help guide my clients to do the things they deem relevant for them and they are seeing really great results. For me the reward is the happiness it creates and seeing the new found confidence in people. WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO PERSONALLY SHOW YOU HOW YOU CAN ACHIEVE YOUR FITNESS GOALS ...FOR FREE?
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