The Importance Of Warming Up

The Importance Of Warming Up

Courtesy of swimming and triathlon coach Randy Soler.

No matter the intensity of the activity you are going to perform, make sure warming up is always part of your routine. It should last from 5 to 20 minutes – maybe longer in cold weather.

Most of us wake up, yawn, stretch our arms, legs and start the day slowly. Then gradually start moving faster. Exercise should be something very similar.

Warming up literally warms the body for the activity to be performed. Such activity may be walking slowly or running 10 miles. No matter the intensity of the activity you are going to complete, make sure warming up is always part of your routine. Warming up before exercise offers many benefits.

First, it looses muscles so that we don’t feel stiff and tense.

Second, increases heart rate, preparing the body for exercise. Third, speeds nerve impulses, improving reflexes, and sends oxygenated blood to the muscles.

Finally, to increase flexibility and mobility of joints, it reduces the risk of injury, especially in connective tissues such as tendons.

This routine can combine a gentle trot with massage and gentle stretching to get the perfect warming up. It must be strong enough to raise your heart rate and to prepare the muscles that will be used during the activity. For example, if you’re going to run five minutes at a leisurely pace you can warm-up very slowly by jogging or walk a minute or two before you start running. A perfect swim warm0up would be 400 [yard or meter] swim working on alternate breathing and good form + 300 pull no paddles + 200 kick + 100 non-free between breaststroke and backstroke.

Stretching should also be part of the warm-up routine. It should stretch the muscles after warm-ups, like walking. When you stretch a muscle, goes to where you feel mild discomfort. If it hurts, it is because you are overstretching a particular area, which should reduce stress. Hold each stretch for about 10-30 seconds with no rebounds. Remember to stretch opposite muscle groups one after another. For example, stretch your quadriceps (the muscles of the anterior thigh) and then stretch the hamstrings (the muscles in the back of the thigh).

Always breathe when stretching.

Remember that warming up and stretching should be performed consistently to prevent injuries.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association