And be sure to perform both! Some may opt to skip part of the warm up exercises. That may be their personal preference but it is not a wise approach to take. In fact, it could prove to be a serious mistake since the muscles and tendons could prove to be at a serious disadvantage during actual performance. Needless to say, this is not the end result one wishes to achieve. Again, sports activities should be fun and safe. Proper warm ups and stretching would be the right approach to take. Here is the fourfold path to follow:
1. Basic Warm up Exercises
Basic warm up exercises can be considered self-explanatory. Such exercises get the heart rate going and the muscles heated up. This makes them much more able to handle the higher intensity physical activities that will be handled by the body during the sports activities.
2. Static Stretching
Static stretching can aid in slightly extending the muscle and tendons to their normal range of motion. This is done is a slow and controlled manner without the intention of forcing the range of motion in a harsh manner.
3. Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic stretching takes static stretching up a notch because it involves stretching through dynamic motion. No, this is not done in a dangerous manner. As such, proper dynamic stretching needs not be anything you should be worried about when performing such activities.
4. Sports Specific Exercises
Lastly, there are sports specific activities that are based directly on the type of physical activities done while engaging in the actual sport.
Remember, all of these various components need to be employed in order to get the most out of the process. Some may cut their sessions short and cut corners. That is generally not the best course of action to take because we are talking about protecting yourself from injury.
Some might have questions regarding the actual amount of time one is supposed to invest in this type of warm up and stretching. This can vary depending upon the individual athlete. Some may be able to get an excellent warm up and stretch after only ten minutes. Others may need a half hour or longer. The duration, however, is not what is important. What is important is that the end goal is achieved.
Article by Brad Walker and The Stretching Institute. Brad is a leading stretching and sports injury consultant with more than 20 years experience in the health and fitness industry.