Warming Up: how to best practice it
Often overlooked, muscle warming is a very important phase of physical activity.
It is used to prepare the body to face physical activity, more or less intense. It consists in carrying out a low intensity activity to get the cardio-pulmonary circuit in motion before performing any sporting activity.
The benefits of warming-up
There are a lot of benefits that come from warming-up, both physically and mentally.
On a physical level, it gradually increases the heart rate and the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles; it also increases the body temperature, amplifying the elastic capacity of the muscles.
From a psychological point of view, warming up allows the mind to prepare for the training that the body will have to face, allowing for greater concentration.
Muscle warming: how to do it best
Usually the general warm-up consists of a slow run of about 10 minutes, as it sets in motion a good part of the muscles without risk of trauma; valid valid alternatives can be a brisk walk or the use of an exercise bike.
It is also useful to perform a more targeted warm-up, in order to stimulate the muscles that will be most stressed during the sporting activity you are about to tackle.
In any case, the methods, duration and intensity of the warm-up must always be commensurate with the physical condition of the athlete, his level of preparation and the type of activity he will perform.
Warming up therefore prepares the mind for effort, stimulates concentration, helps prevent injuries and increases performance.
What for many is considered a waste of time, is actually a great gain both in the short and long term: thanks to warm-up exercises the body will gradually be more stable and strong, flexible and elastic; movements will become smoother, resistance to stress will increase and performance will rise to another level.
Static and dynamic stretching: before and after training
To reduce the risk of injury, it is important to do some stretching before and after training.
Before training, dynamic stretching prepares the muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage for the strain of sporting activity. It increases blood circulation within the muscles, increasing their temperature, one of the most important factors in warming up.
After training, static stretching is useful: it is performed by stretching the muscles until you feel a slight stretch and holding the position for 30/90 seconds, then repeating it several times until you no longer feel the muscle traction.
Warming up combined with stretching is therefore the best way to increase flexibility, decrease the risk of injury, increase concentration and improve performance.
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