"STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY"

"STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY"

Saturday, 25 September 2010

WARM UP - Specific to what you are going to do!

Warm up is a theme coaches and trainers have debated and discussed for years. RAMP is a common acronym when discussing warm up, and the letters stands for - Raise, Activate, Mobilise and Potentiate. In simple terms the warm up is there to prepare your body for what you are going to do next! If you are playing football, basketball, rugby etc this will involve a lot of running and a lot of change of direction, so to raise the body temperature, heart rate and mobilise the joints is crucial. Some coaches still use the old line: "Run around the pitch twice". However is running around a pitch twice ticking all the boxes that a warm up should include? I don't think so. How about including some functional mobility exercises as part of the warm up to make sure your joints have been taken through range of movements they are likely to be working through in training/match?

I think that mobility exercises as part of anyone's warm up is underrated. I will therefore describe some simple mobility exercises that athletes can include as part of their warm up whether this is for a team sport or before lifting weights in the gym.

Type: Mobility warm up exercises to prepare the body for exercise
Purpose: To improve blood flow to the working muscles and increase mobility of the joints
Suitable for: Tennis players, team sports and individuals
Equipment needed: Mini resistance band
Repetitions and sets:
1-2 sets per exercise
10 - 15 repetitions per exercise

1. Hamstring walkouts

Start by standing with your feet at hip width apart
Lean your upper body forward without bending your knees and touch the floor (if you have tight hamstring you can bend them slightly) (Picture 1)From this position walk yourself forward by using your hands until you get to a press up position (Picture 2)
From this position walk your hands back till your hands touch your feet and repeat
Your feet stays still throughout the exercise
Keep your hips still and avoid rocking too much from side to side
Perform this movement 10-15 repetitions

2. Lunge with twist
Start by standing with your feet about hip width apart on the floor
Pull your abdominals in and keep your chest out prior to starting
Let your hands rest comfortably on the side of your body
Step forward in a lunge position by bending both knees is in line with your ankle
Your front knee should not cross the line of your toes and your back knee should just touch the floor gently
With the hand on the same side as your front leg touch the inside of your front leg(Picture 1)
The other hand opens up outwards and make a half circle
Push your front leg back up and step back to the starting position, repeat with the other leg
Remember to always touch the front foot with the hand on the same side as the front leg
Repeat 8-12 steps on each leg

3. Squat, touch toes, hands up and stand up
Start by standing with your feet about hip width apart
Front this position lean forward and touch the inside of your big toes without bending your knees (if you have tight hamstring muscles you can bend them slightly) (Picture 1)
While holding onto the inside of your foot, squat down by bending your knees till your bottom is in line with your knees (Picture 2)When you get into this position, lift one hand up above your hand (Picture 3) and then the other hand (Picture 4)You can then straighten your knees, stand up into the starting position and repeat(Picture 5)
Make sure you keep the weight onto your heels throughout this exercise
Repeat 10-15 times

4. Side lunges
Start by standing with your feet about hip width apart on the floor
Pull your abdominals in and keep your chest out prior to starting
Lift your arms in front of your body till about chest height
Step out till the side with your right leg by bending your right knee.
Keeping your arms in front of your body to counterbalance and make sure your knees are pointing forwards
Stick your bottom back and keep your chest out while getting into the position (Picture 1)
From this position, drive your right leg back by pushing it off the floor into the starting position and repeat
You can alternate from side to side or do all your repetitions on one leg before changing to the other
Do 8 – 12 repetitions on each leg


5. Press up position to rotation

Start on the floor in a press up position with your elbows in line with your shoulders
Keep your abdominals pulled in prior to starting this movement
From this position, lift your left hand off the floor and make a half circle by rotating to the left (Picture 1)You left hand should be in line with your body when looking from the side
Rotate your body back down to the starting position and repeat on the other side
Do 8-12 repetitions on each side

6. Spiderman

Start on the floor in a press up position with your elbows in line with your shoulders(Picture 1) Keep your abdominals pulled in prior to starting this movement
Bend your right knee and take a step forward with your right leg, place your right foot next to your right hand
To increase the stretch behind your lright leg you can touch the left elbow down onto your left foot (this is optional)
Lift your left leg back to the starting position and repeat on the other side
Do this 10 – 15 repetitions on each leg

7. Glut bridges

Start by lying onto your back on the floor
Bend your knees by placing your heels in line with your knees (half a foot away from your bottom)
Rest your arm by the side of your body (Picture 1)Lift your hips up by squeezing your bottom till your back is straight (Picture 2)Hold this top position for 5 seconds and lower your hips back down to the floor and repeat
Do this 10 -15 repetitions
8. Windmill
Start by standing with your feet about 1 metre apart
Bend your upper body forward by slightly bending your knees
Touch your right hand on the outside of your left foot (Picture 1)Change over and touch the left hand on the outside of the right foot and repeat for 10—15 repetitions
Keep your chest out throughout this exercise


9. Hip flexion with mini resistance band

Start by laying on your back with the resistance band around the top of your feet (point your toes upwards to make sure the band doesn’t come off) (Picture 1)Bend right hip by bringing your right knee towards yourself till your hip is at approximately 90° (Picture 2)Keep the right leg straight while moving the left leg
Bring the left leg back down by straightening your hip and knee and repeat with the right leg Repeat this 10-15 times on each leg
10. Shuffles with mini resistance band (forwards, sideways and backwards)

Start by placing a mini resistance band around both knees together
Stand with your feet hip width apart, with a small bend in your knees prior to starting
Take a step forward with left leg, then move the right leg close to the left leg (Picture 1)Now move the right leg forward before moving the left leg close to the right leg etc.
To move the front leg you have to abduct (bring the leg out) the leg against the resistance band, which means you should face sideways slightly before starting
Always remember to bend your knees and keep your chest out when doing these movements
You can also walk sideways (Picture 2) and backwards with the band (Picture 3), by changing the starting position
If you alternate between the 3 different movements you can perform this for approximately 5 minutes
Thanks
Monica

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