Coming Out of Hibernation

The importance for dynamic warm-ups prior to exercise
Let's face it, we've had a long hard winter. Some of us fought those winter blues by remaining active; however, there are those of us who tend to go into hibernation and don't come out until the snow has melted. With spring coming, there are some of us who are getting ready to begin working on those New Year's resolutions and head outdoors for some running, jumping and playing.

Many times as the hibernators attempt to "jump" back into the swing of things full force without proper preparation; an injury may occur. Which brings us to today's topic: the Dynamic Warm-up. According to some research; performing a dynamic warm-up increases flexibility, improves core stabilization and balance in a safe manner.

Before any type of sporting event, whether it's a baseball game, volleyball practice or 5K race you've put on that resolution list, it is important to warm up your body and muscles properly to help avoid injury. The most efficient and effective way to do so is with a dynamic warm-up. A dynamic warm-up is comprised of a series of 8-15 movements that will increase your heart rate, improve muscle elasticity, open up your joints, and physically get your body warm in order to prepare for the demands of the activity you are about to participate in.

A good dynamic warm-up consists of movements that will incorporate your upper extremities, lower extremities, and core. The dynamic warm-up should incorporate all planes of the joints that will be used to help stretch and facilitate the muscles. Lastly, the dynamic warm-up should be done with focus and should not be "walked through" - think of this as preparing your body for the big game.

The following is an example of the flow and routine that athletes should perform:

  • Walking Lunges
  • Reverse Lunges With Torso Rotation
  • Lateral Lunges
  • Straight Leg March
  • High Knees
  • Butt Kicks
  • A Skip
  • Lateral Shuffle
  • Inch Worms With Push-up (plank walk with straight legs to hands and back out)

Again, remember the purpose of these warm-ups is to prepare your body for activity to prevent injury and prepare the cardio-vascular system.

Should you need assistance wiping those proverbial "winter blues" away, contact Superior Physical Therapy and Sports Rehab (http://frederickpt.com/); we'd be happy to set a plan in motion to get you and your loved ones game ready for a lovely spring/summer season with injury prevention in mind!