It’s easy to skip a warm-up and jump straight to the workout. I mean is it not enough that you’re already exercising? Short answer, not really. Sure you can get away with skipping a warm-up a couple of times but you’re more likely to hurt yourself if you don’t get your body ready. You’re simply prepping the body for exercise.
Roll up, warm-up
“The healthiest way to start any kind of workout is to make sure your body is ready for it,” Seugnet begins. “Making sure your joints are warm is vital to prevent injury.” Therefore you should activate the muscles and mobilize the joints that you are about to use.
“In my warm-ups, I make sure to do movements that raise my heart rate and breathing rate,” she continues. “This allows more oxygen to travel throughout the body which will make you feel less tired during your workout.” Don’t treat it as a chore, it’s simply preparing your muscles to do their job properly. Makes sense right?
Seugnet’s go-to stretches
The type of warm-up your body requires depends on the type of exercise that is to follow. “For my typical [warm-up] session I usually start with shoulder and neck stretches,” Seugnet explains. “This will be followed by spinal movements, for example, side stretches and forward folds. These will wake up the spine and open the hamstrings.”
In addition, incorporate a squat into the forward folds. “This is a great way to warm up and stretch the hip flexors and hamstrings,” Seugnet continues. “Runners and surfers lunges are also great hip flexor stretches.” Just really loosen everything up. “I usually do arm swings, small jumps or running on the spot. From this into lunges to elevate my heart rate,” she concludes.
Skip it today, pay tomorrow
“Warming up is crucial for heating up muscle tissue,” Seugnet says. “The risk of skipping this step is injuring a muscle or a joint. Often people tear a muscle which could have been prevented if the warm-up was done properly.”
But that’s not all, your body will thank you for stretching. “You will also feel less sore the next day if you stretched properly,” she adds. “Our joints have a fluid called Synovial fluid. This is found in the cavities of our joints. The main function is to lubricate our joints so there’s less friction during movement.” Through warming-up, the Synovial fluid is activated and able to do its job.
Experience the warm-up up at Chase The Sun
This year, Women’s Health is bringing you a brand new workout – Chase The Sun – dedicated to stretching and toning. This stunning new session will be taking place outdoors on the manicured polo fields of Val de Vie. Seugnet will be leading us all through some stretching and mobility work. “You can expect a great start to the day by connecting with yourself through breath and awareness,” she explains. “Using mobility moves and stretches, we’ll get the heart rates up.” It’s the perfect way to get the body ready for a morning of movement.
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This article was originally published on www.womenshealthsa.co.za
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