The purpose of a warm up is two fold.
The PHYSICAL preparation of the body for the training session and
the MENTAL preparation for the cognitive function. You don't ever want to step onto the mat/gym with mental baggage. Ever just got of the phone with someone which has altered your mood and that has in turn affected your performance?
Wherever you are training (garage, gym, structured class), a warm up should be included as part of your session to
improve your performance in the session
improve you recovery from the session
I can't tell how many times I've attended a training session which started with a bang and witnessed students fall by the way side during the class or struggle long after the session has concluded.
So here I'm gonna lay out the structure for a warm up along with a video to give you some ideas to formulate your own warm up. I will also discuss the types of stretching involved
Structure of Warm Up
Don't over complicate.
Don't do it for an extended period of time (5-10 minutes max for an hour session).
There are 3 main components that you want to do in the following order:
Gets the blood flowing around the body quicker, improves oxygen supply and increases body temperature.
Don't chose load bearing movements or explosive exercises here - i.e lunges, jumping switch lunges.
2. Power exercises
Non-explosive muscle contractions of key muscle groups to increase uptake in blood and oxygen.
3. Dynamic stretching
Mobilise joints and improve synovial fluid viscosity (warm the oil up).
Start small and work your way up to full range of motion.
You will find a Warm up video in the online training section giving examples of each of theses stages.
Let me take this moment to discuss stretching/flexibility as its something that is not often discussed in a class setting.
Benefits of stretching
1. Increases your flexibility
Which is crucial for your overall health. Flexibility helps you to perform everyday activities with relative ease, but it can also help delay the loss of mobility that can come with aging.
2. Increases your range of motion
Studies have found that both static and dynamic stretching are effective when it comes to increasing range of motion.
3. Improves your performance in physical activities
Performing dynamic stretches prior to physical activities has been shown to help prepare your muscles.
4. Increases blood flow to your muscles
Improved circulation increases blood flow to your muscles, which can shorten your recovery time and reduce muscle soreness.
5. Improves your posture
If you have a combination of strengthening and stretching specific muscle groups can reduce musculoskeletal pain and encourage proper alignment. That, in turn, may help improve your posture.
6. Helps to heal and prevent back pain
By strengthening your back muscles and reducing your risk for muscle strain.
7. It's a stress reliever.
Tension is the enemy of movement.
Who isn't feeling some stress right now.
People tend to hold your stress in areas like the neck, shoulders, and upper back.
There are several types of stretching techniques, including:
The most common forms of stretches are Dynamic and Static for most forms of exercise.
Krav Maga also utilises PNF principled stretching although that can be time consuming for a class room.
Dynamic stretches are active movements that cause your muscles to stretch, but the stretch is not held in the end position. These stretches are usually done BEFORE exercise to get your muscles ready for movement.
The joints and muscles go through a full range of motion which can be functional and mimic the movement of the activity or sport you're about to perform - See WARM UP video in fitness/mobility section
Static stretches involve holding a stretch in a comfortable position for a period of time, typically between 10 and 30 seconds. This form of stretching is most beneficial AFTER you exercise - See COOL DOWN video in fitness/mobility section.
Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF)-type stretching, where you stretch a muscle to its limit, may be more effective for immediate gains.
Use dynamic stretches before exercise to prepare your muscles.
Use static stretches after exercise to reduce your risk for injury.
You can stretch any time during the day just take it slow if its new to you. On days you exercise:
Aim for 5 to 10 minutes of dynamic stretching prior to your activity
Do another 5 to 10 minutes of static or PNF stretching after your workout
On days when you aren’t exercising, still plan to schedule at least 5 to 10 minutes of time for stretching.
If you have an acute or existing injury or any physical limitations that prevent you from properly performing a stretching exercise chart with your doctor first.
If you have a chronic or nagging injury, consider talking with a sports physio.
Tips for stretching that you should follow:
Don’t stretch beyond the point of comfort. If it hurts, back off.
Don’t overdo it. If you're stretching the same muscle groups multiple times a day, you risk over-stretching and causing damage.
Don’t go into your stretches cold.
A final note on maintenance. Incorporating stretching as part of your daily life is just as important as using it for pre- and post- work out. I have uploaded a simple Daily Mobility routine (credit - Boxing Science) which can be performed relatively quickly.
There are numerous free stretching and mobility apps available for your phone.
Great material @