Proper warm ups help avoid injury, increase cardio (heart) and vascular (lung) activity. They are a vital ingredient of any sporting activity. Many athletes tend to skimp a proper warm up or just donít know how to warm the body properly or donít know the proper sequence of activity. A good warm up should start at the top and work down. Finishing at the feet having warmed up the large muscles of the legs last.
The legs are very important for most activities and are the strongest muscles of the body. A good deal of attention should be paid to warming and stretching the tendons and muscles around the hips, (ball and socket joint) knees (hinge joint) and ankles. The power of the legs via the hips and abdominals (core strength) can then be applied to the arms and other parts of the body.The warm up should be tailored to the particular activity and include all the relevant stretches. During warm-up emphasis should be placed on proper breathing techniques. This is often poorly understood. In the Martial Arts we use several different types of breathing and all can be of use to various sports. Proper breathing can help athletes relax, work better and last longer.
There are 3 basic types of stretches: 1. Passive 2. Ballistic 3. P.N.F.
Passive stretching involves soft, slow, gentle exorcises many of which have come from Yoga. Ballistic stretches are moving stretches and are fine for fast activity sports. However, Passive stretching should be done first. PNF stretching, or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching, is for achieving extra mobility. Much deeper stretches can be achieved and it is by far the most effective short term stretching system.
All the above stretching exorcises need to be taught in a proper syngenetic combination, tailored to the particular activity, to achieve the required results. All stretching exorcises need to be taught properly to avoid injury and to prepare properly for the sport intended.
It is also very educational to have the major muscle groups identified, along with an explanation of how they work, to keep athletes well informed on how their bodies operate.