As I begin to flex my muscle with this whole writing bit, it’s only natural to start with a post about just that, warming up.
I remember when I first started climbing, there was a girl at the gym doing arm circles and what I’ve since learned are tendon glides. I remember thinking in my noobish snooty way, “Why is she wasting time? It’s soooo much more time efficient to just climb easy stuff as a warm up.”
Later that night I watched, gape mouthed as Kate Reese McGinnis slayed every problem she touched. This was almost ten years ago, well before I even thought about becoming a physical therapist, but now as I get a little creakier with each birthday, the fifteen minutes before I lace up my Testarossas are the most important part of my workout.
How important is warming up really? The Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning writes about warming up, “…the goal being to prepare the athlete mentally and physically for exercise…” The text then goes on and dedicates an entire chapter to this topic. That. Important.
Here’s what I recommend before chalking up:
- Get the heart rate going. Do a light jog, run up and down the stairs, hop on a bike. I personally either do a quick tabata on the rower or I’ll bike to the gym.
- Arm circle variations. x20 reps each direction and variation
- Shoulder flexion/extension. Horizontal abduction/adduction. x20 reps each direction
- Tendon gliding. x10 I also vary shoulder and elbow flexion every two reps
- Body weight squats. x10-15
- High knees. Dynamic hamstrings. x10-15
Super quick video with an Ivy cameo. I tend to move around more when I’m actually warming up, walking and doing arm circles, but I did my best to stay in the frame and not look too awkward. All of my reps are general numbers – if my shoulders feel like they need it, I might spend more time there. Get used to feeling your body out and doing what you need.