Most people's warm up routine consists of a few random stretches of the calves, hamstrings, lower back and a few other key problem areas that they might have
They might do a slow jog or some star jumps to get the body warm and the blood flowing
But is this an effective warm up? Is this actually allowing you to perform better during your workouts?
Have a read of this short article and decide how effective your warm up routine is.
STATIC VS DYNAMIC STRETCHING
One big mistake with warm up routines that I see are that people focus too much on static stretching - an example of this is lazily holding a hamstring stretch for 1-2 minutes. Although this type of stretching before workouts can temporarily increase flexibility, it also decreases strength and power output which is not ideal for any activities that require your muscles to contract.
If you are looking to improve performance, you should instead be focusing on dynamic stretching. The difference here is that you are actually engaging your brain and muscles through repeated and quick movements.
Below is an example of dynamic stretching for the hamstrings and posterior leg muscles
PREPARING MUSCLES TO FIRE
A runner should feel great when he or she is running on the spot and doing a few stairs, just like someone who squats heavy loads should be easily able to do some light squats.
So after getting some more range of motion, we need to prepare the muscles to contract!
Missing this important step can lead to feelings of "sluggishness" and might even lead to increased risk of injury... most people can't go from 0 to 100 safely and consistently without a good warm up
One of our favourites for lower body activation is the slow reverse-lunge. Try a few each side for 3-5 sets. Your goal is to keep your weight on your front leg and maintain full control on the way down.
PREPARING THE WHOLE BODY TO FUNCTION
The final point I will touch on in terms of warm ups is to consider what you actually have to do during your workout. Are you trying to prepare your muscles to lift heavy weights (strength/power training), to produce lots of force quickly (such as sprinting), and in what range of motion?
Also consider the requirements of a runner versus a powerlifter during their sport - completely different, right? These two groups of people surely cannot have the same warm up routine if they want to perform at their best
These factors will determine what movement drills are most appropriate for you as you prepare for your workout
For runners, you should include some plyometric work such as box jumps or skipping in order to prepare your body to rapidly accept and produce force through your lower body.
If you're a powerlifter, your warm up should include some light squats which are focused on moving the bar as quickly as possible. This can include banded squats/deadlifts or box squats at <50% of your max.
I hope this challenged your thinking a little bit as you tweak your warm-up routine and perform better.
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About the Author:
Lawrence Khuu is a qualified Physiotherapist and Movement Specialist. His mission is to help motivated clients perform at their highest level through a combined hands-on treatment and exercise rehabilitation approach. He currently treats clients at Activ Therapy Casula.
If you have ever had jaw pain, you will know how uncomfortable it is, A pain that stops you from eating anything that isnt blended isn't much fun. Having temporo-mandibular pain (jaw pain) stops you from doing anything that requires opening of the mouth and even small movements can cause clicking and locking in the jaw.
The temporo-mandibular joint (or TMJ) is made up of 2 bones with round surfaces (the mandible and temporal) with a disc in between that allows the glide and movement so you can yawn, eat, chew and talk.
This way this joint can get messed up in a number of ways including, bad teeth, grinding habits, poor bite patterns and neck issues that might relate to posture. With all that we now we have a very angry disc.
So what are the signs of temporo-mandibular pain?
There are a number of different signs and each person will be a little different but the main things you will notice if you have temporo-mandibular pain are:
So what are the different types of TMJ pain?
The differnt types really boil down to 3.
What causes it?
In most cases there are a few factors that often lead to jaw problems. An expert in jaw pain can explain which ones you have after doing an assessment. Some of the more common are:
What can I do about it?
the first step in treating it is identifying and addressing the factors above. After that treatment can include a number techniques to assist the mucle and joint function:
Senior physiotherapist and jaw pain expert at Eagle Vale and Liverpool
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