Warming Up to Boost Performance

I thought that it would be timely considering that it’s starting to get a bit colder, to talk about the benefits of a warm up and how using a warm up can boost performance and essentially speed up a rehab process.

The attached video was filmed as a Facebook Live so if you didn’t catch it there the first time around go over and “Like” our Facebook page here and you’ll be able to jump in straightaway, ask as many questions as you’d like and I’ll answer them right there and then!

When starting the conversation about a “warm-up” let’s talk about what happens if you don’t warm up correctly. Here are the 3 top issues you’ll be creating if you don’t warm up correctly:

1) You’re placing structures at risk. Structures that aren’t ready for movement, structures that may not be designed to take load through them or they’re more there as a stabiliser such as a ligament or muscle tendon and if we load these inappropriately because we haven’t warmed up the prime movers properly, we’re at risk of injury and loading these smaller structures.

2) We’re going to have sub-optimal performance because we’re not going to be using the prime moving muscles that are designed to do the movement. We’re not going to use muscles that have as much force capability so we’re going to have poor performance.

3) Unfortunately, you’re wasting your time. If you’re not using the right muscles, if you’re not causing the right structures to adapt, you might as well come back another day and have another shot at it as you’re going to use your time much more effectively if you’re warming up and getting the right structures ready and perfomring the exercises the right way.

If we do warm up correctly, what do we get out of it?

1) Well firstly, you are at a much, much lower risk of developing an injury. If you have the right structures working, the right muscles firing and your body is held in a nice position, you’re going to be at a much less chance of causing an injury.

2) You’re going to have better performance. You’re going to be using the muscles that are designed to do that certain movement

3) You’re going to build more strength and you’re going to speed up the rehab process. Faster muscle adaptation occurs when you’re doing things in a more optimal movement pattern.

What do I think are the main components of a good warm up? Two things I think about. One is mobility. Mobility is basically getting joints moving through a nice range of movement. The second thing is activation. If you go for a run, you’re going to ease into it, you’re not going to sprint straight away and if you’re in a strengthening programme, you’re not going to want to throw a heavy weight on the bar or a heavy weight on the machine and go to a hundred percent straight away, you’re going to ease into it and you’re going to slowly introduce the structures responsible for the movement to the weight.

Let’s get mobile, let’s get active, and enjoy the benefits of being able to produce much greater force and therefore, getting through your rehab a bit quicker.