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Do I need to warm up or stretch? Yes!

Time is of the essence.

By Mandra Taulu, Director at Wynyard

Time is of the essence. Ask your corporate professional running between meetings and presentations, or busy mum/dad juggling school drop-off, grocery pick up and household chores, let alone fitting personal training sessions in the busy schedule. We get that. Time is of the essence! This can often mean coming into your PT session while still on that work phone call, completing your PT session, and then sprinting out to tackle the next task at hand. Sound familiar?

But wait… what happened to the vital pre and post exercise rituals of warming up and stretching? Remember in school when we had to do the ‘boring’ warms up, or stand in awkward stretch poses before and after sport? Do we not have to do these anymore? Short answer is – Absolutely! Warming up helps prepare your body for exercise. Like warming up a car allowing the engine to rev up, a warmup gradually starts the engine of your cardiovascular system by raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow to your muscles. This stimulates the production of synovial fluid which helps lubricate your joints and provides a cushioning that coats your tendons, reducing friction when moving your joints. Warming up also helps reduce muscle soreness and lessen your risk of injury.

In addition, the time spent provides an opportunity to work on weaknesses, technical practice, and movement preparation. This can also be referred to as prehabilitation. This enhances your ability to effectively progressively overload. Which is ultimately the goal when it comes to strength training. According to the Thomas Kurz book ‘Stretching Scientifically’ - Effective stretching can make all the difference between success and failure in developing athletic skills and abilities, or simply getting results in one’s exercise. It can be the key to help overcome plateaus, more importantly it will help prevent injury.

The last thing we want in our journey to be the healthiest, happiest, and fittest version of ourselves is to hit a roadblock of injuries setting us back on our goals and worst of all, reverse the gains we’ve made. Not only does warming up and stretching benefit your exercise routine it benefits your quality of life, as it helps improve mobility, posture, and increase energy levels.

Although there are many types of stretching, there are 2 main categories of stretching that are needed for an effective warm up / cool down routine:

  • Dynamic Stretching: Best used for warming up before exercise in the form of active movement where the joints and muscles execute a full of motion performed for 10 repetitions per exercise. E.g. Leg Swings.
  • Static Stretching: Perhaps the most recognized form of stretching best executed post workout where a muscle is held at its further point for 15-30 seconds. E.g. Seated Glute Stretch.

A warm-up routine prior to your session should take at least 6 mins. A stretch routine post session should take about 5-10 minutes. Point of the story - Take the short time before and after your workout to warm up and stretch. It will improve your training and help your recovery and enhance your quality of life! Yes, time is of the essence and 5-10 min routine each session can save months of rehabilitation – now who has time for that?! Feel free to join our Group Revive Sessions, for a well-earned stretch to work your muscles, detox your body, let go of stress, lengthen your spine, and leave you feeling completely recharged.

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