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Warm-up With Purpose

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Why do we workout? The first answer that will come to most of your minds is “to look good naked” lol.  While this is true for all of us, we also have other goals, we are all striving to become healthier and to move better.  To become better humans.

As coaches it is our responsibility to train and develop every athlete, without bias, in order for them to reach their desired goals.  The amount of time we invest in all facets of programming, teaching and guiding our athletes plays an important role in their success. It is the responsibility of the athlete to show up on time, listen, observe, follow the program, work hard and have fun.   This process all begins with the  daily Warm-Up.

A proper warm-up helps reduce your risk of injury and the aches and pains that come with vigorous exercise. Warm-ups are used to gradually elevate the athletes body temperature by increasing blood flow and assist your circulatory system in pumping oxygen-rich blood to your working muscles. The idea is to increase circulation throughout the body in a gradual manner. A proper warm up safely prepares the body for the increased demands of exercise. Cold muscles do not absorb shock or impact as well, and are more susceptible to injury. The warm-up should also take every joint through its full range of motion, helping prepare susceptible joints for the demands of exercise and avoiding injury.

A warm up helps you prepare both mentally and physically for exercise reducing the chance of injury. During a warm up, any injury, tightness or illness you may have can often be recognized, and plans can be made to prevent further issues. Other benefits of a proper warm up include:

-Increased movement of blood through your tissues, making the muscles more pliable.

-Increased delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. This prevents you from getting short of breath early or too easily. The concept of “not tiring yourself out pre-wod” is B.S.! YOU SHOULD BE WINDED DURING THE WARMUP.

-Prepares your muscles for stretching. (STRETCHING IS NOT A WARM UP!)

-Prepares your heart for an increase in activity, preventing a rapid increase in blood pressure.

-Prepares you mentally for the upcoming work out (this is a big one).

-Primes your nerve-to-muscle pathways.

-Improved coordination and reaction times (always good when throwing heavy objects over your head!).

Personally, I feel the warm-up is the most important part of any class for both the athlete and the coach.  Not only are you able to adequately prepare the athlete for the WOD and assess their deficiencies, but it’s also the ideal time to establish close working relationships. Its an opportunity for me, as a coach, to assess where the athlete is, both mentally and physically, on that particular day, allowing me to coach them better.  This interaction is crucial in developing the athlete and yourself as a coach and, equally as important, our Persist community and family.  Don’t just aim to “get through” your warm-up; do it with purpose, make it fun while adhering to form and function, and it’ll benefit you tons in the long term.

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