Have you ever been unsure about how to warm up? When to strengthen? When to stretch? Read on for how to structure your training to prevent injuries.
The first thing you need when you start training is to get more blood flow to move into your muscles to prepare them to move, work, and stretch. To do this, begin your practice with 10 minutes of gentle aerobic activities. A gentle jog, a bike ride to the studio, even light jumping in place all fit the bill.
Once your muscles are warm, you are ready for dynamic stretching, moving through a full range of motion instead of holding a static position. Static stretching at this point in your training can decrease your muscular performance.
Next, it is time to get the body ready to do sport or circus specific activities. So, we begin progressive loading of the joints and muscles with increasing strength and muscular demands. For aerialists, I like something similar to the progression below.
Note that the exercises move from light to heavy load and from static to dynamic movement. You can take these concepts and apply them to your specialization or, ask me for ideas on how.
Warm up is NOT a time for strengthening or a replacement for it. Strengthening should happen (almost) last. Strengthening is important and can help correct muscular imbalances that we train into the body through our movement and fatigue with the duration of training
Stay warm! Follow good training practices with regard to exercise dosage of duration, intensity, and frequency.
If you want to stretch, the end of your training is a good time for static stretching as the muscles are warm and ready to go. Hold stretches for 30 - 60 seconds. Try to be sure you are feeling a muscle stretch and you are avoiding stresses and pain at the joints themselves.
Don't forget to cool down. After you have done your strengthening (you have done your strengthening, right) you are ready to help your body recover quickly by doing a 10 minute cool down. Again, you can use some gentle cardiovascular activities and dynamic stretching to bring nutrients back into the muscles and joints.
If you have questions feel free to comment and let me know
Have fun training safely!