Prepare to Exercise

Posted: December 7, 2015

Proper preparation leads to a more productive, injury free fitness experience


Are you an avid runner or biker? How about a weekend warrior playing softball, basketball or tennis? Do you prepare for these activities or as Nike would say "Just Do It". Proper preparation for these activities can reduce injuries and pain related to the sport as well as improve your performance by lowering times and maximizing your competitive level.


Proper warm up activities such as Dynamic Stretching and Movement Preparation will prepare your body to take on the demands of the sport you love being involved with the most. Dynamic Stretching is utilized to increase blood flow and muscle temperature while improving flexibility to allow the muscles to work to their maximum capacity. This stretching technique is movement based and stretches the muscle throughout its' full range of motion while moving. These stretches should incorporate all major muscle groups and can be performed while upright and moving the body. Examples of Dynamic Stretching include reaching toward your heels with the knees straight and sweeping your hands through your toes forward stretching your hamstrings and lunging forward with your back knee straight and heel on the ground stretching your calves and the front of your hips.


Movement Preparation places the body in positions it may encounter during the sport you are preparing for. These movements begin slowly and increase in speed and power as you progress. The object is to allow your body to slowly adapt to the dynamic movements it will be involved in. Some examples include bodyweight squats and lunges with trunk rotations reaching across your body.


Combining Dynamic Stretching and Movement Preparation prior to exercise takes only 5-10 minutes and will improve your performance while reducing injuries and common aches and pains. Whether you are a hard core runner or occasional weekend athlete, proper preparation will make your sports experience more enjoyable.