Every month in my fitness classes we have a new challenge. Such challenges have included things like lower body challenge, core challenge, and even stretching challenge. I am writing about the August challenge to bring in the entire community and expand the challenge in hopes to create new habits and attitudes for all! The August challenge has begun and its concept is dynamic warm-up.
A dynamic warm-up preps the body for movement. We do this in any of my classes and trainings, but this month we are going to be extremely intentional and focused on warming up for a specific amount of time. Everyone will be loose, ready, and possibly quite sweaty in prep to launch into the workout.
I have asked everyone to think of their muscles like rubber bands. Often times workouts are done early in the morning just after waking up, or later in the day after sitting at a desk for hours. If this is the case then lunging right into movement could cause the rubber band, AKA the muscles, to snap. This is not good for top performance, and injury is possible.
Likewise, if we are still and holding a stretch (known as static stretching), before doing any form of movement, we may overextend the muscles. Pulls, sprains, strains, and tears do not only happen when we are jumping on courts or lifting heavy furniture. If muscles are not primed for movement we can hurt our bodies anytime.
When my participants start to move, you can usually hear me call out a familiar line: Get that blood moving!
Dynamic warm-ups aid in blood circulation. If your blood is pumping, you will feel better in your stretching, your activity, and your overall well-being.
For example if a person would like to stop swearing he or she could place a rubber band around the wrist and every time they used an inappropriate word, the rubber band could be pulled back and let go, allowing it to snap the wrist. By looking down and seeing the rubber band reminder it will help the individual to tame the tongue and avoid the snap.
This month I have handed out rubber bands to my classes and clients to represent the muscles we often neglect. Sometimes we know we are rushing through our warm-ups or not offering an efficient cool down. We may have back pain that needs looked into or need to provide some TLC to our hamstrings but haven’t invested in a foam roller yet. We have arthritis and bad knees, or a shoulder that feels reliefs if only we stand up from the desk a few times a day. We have but one body, and we can either pay for it now with time, attention, funds, and energy, or pay for it later with deductibles. Maybe your rubber band can represent the muscles you need to tend to plus another habit you would like to create. It’s your rubber band.