It seems that warm weather has come and gone for Nashville.. and then it came back for a minute, but then it left again. With the temperatures dropping (and actually staying low), it's more important that ever to prepare our bodies thoroughly before sinking into the aerial abyss. A proper warm up does so many good things for your body including preventing injury, improving your stamina, and preparing you mentally for the workout you're about to endure! Olivia Newton-John has her own way of getting physical, but we can assure you a proper warm up can keep you feeling just as sexy (minus the intimate restaurant and the suggestive movie). Keep reading for tips and tricks on how to warm up before getting physical.
Body Talk: You want to get physical? We'll have to get the body talk out of the way first! Most of us know that a warm-up is warranted before taking on a strenuous workout. In a place like Miss Fit Academy, where you're twisting and turning, hoisting your own bodyweight and stretching your limbs to the limit, a warm-up is even more important. A proper warm-up raises your body, and therefore muscle temperature, as well as your heart rate and induce a safer state for your body to maintain while you're pretzeling around a pole or swimming in silks. Before jumping into a workout without warming-up, consider these facts.
Warming up allows the heart to slowly climb to a higher heart rate, preventing undue stress on the heart later in your workout and countering early onset fatigue. This means you get to experience a longer workout and feel stronger during it!
Higher body temperature, and therefore muscle temperature, improves reflex and contraction times. This may be an advantage when taking on new tricks!
There are psychological benefits to warming up as well. Studies show that participants tend to feel more mentally prepared to take on a workout when a warm up is conducted prior. As cheesy as it sounds, a positive attitude is everything. Prep your body and your mind for a more successful session!
Increased bloodflow maximizes elasticity in muscles, tendons and ligaments, helping to prevent injury. In an atmosphere like ours, flexibility is extremely important. Spinning, twirling and hoisting your own body weight into fabric, a hoop or around a pole is stressful on the muscles. Warming up guarantees an increased oxygen and blood flow throughout the body, giving your soft tissues a more rubberband-like ability.
Movement during a warm up lubes up your joints! All of our joints are surrounded with synovial fluid. When you're moving those joints during your warm up, you're essentially splashing that fluid onto the areas of the joints that go untouched by the blood vessels. A solid warm up ensures that your joints are coated and makes for more comfortable movement in otherwise stressed areas like the knees, shoulders and hips. Higher body temperature, and therefore muscle temperature, improves reflex and contraction times. This may be an advantage when taking on new tricks!
Let's Get Physical: The standard, recommended warm up is around 5-10 minutes. It's just enough to get your heart beating a little faster and prep you body for a basic workout. But remember: Miss Fit Academy is anything BUT basic. Aerial arts (silks, lyra, pole, etc.) and dance work the human body in a vastly different manner than running, weightlifting or classic aerobics. A little extra time and effort is necessary to protect yourself from potential injury. Think more in the 10-15 minute range, and 20 wouldn't hurt! Don't know where to start? We'll help you out!
Hop on a stationary bike for 5-10 minutes
Do a few sets of jump squats
Jog in place
or have your own little dance party!
These exercises will get the body moving and prepare the muscles you're about to utilize for higher intensity moves.
Stretching: Static stretching is a BIG no-no before your body is warm and all worked out. It can actually do more harm than good! You'll want to stay clear of "flex-and-hold," or gym class type stretches. Think of lengthening the muscles through slow and controlled movement, more like yoga or pilates. For instance:
Hip Swings- Kicking the leg forward and backward, pointing the toe during the frontal motion and flexing in back
Slow Neck Rolls
Flexing the Wrists
Rolling the Ankles