Posted by Step Into Life Caulfield & Essendon on 05/23/2019

3 muscles you should always warm up in winter

3 muscles you should always warm up in winter

Warming up your body is crucial no matter what the weather, but more so during the colder months.

“Cold muscles are more prone to injury and don’t operate to their maximum capability,” he warns. “An effective warm up will help to slowly raise your heart rate and increase the flow of blood to the muscles where it’s needed during exercise.”
The muscles that are most important to warm up prior to exercise depends on the type of workout you are about to undertake. “It’s about priming your body to work efficiently on the specific tasks ahead"

For example, if you are doing a Step into Life Cardiomax session involving an endurance run, make sure your warm up focuses on the muscles in your lower limbs such as your calves, hamstrings, glutes and quadriceps.

Try to dedicate at least 10-minutes to warm up exercises before each winter training session. This should include:
A 300 to 400 metre easy jog; followed by
A series of more intense segments such as games, relays, or circuits which involve dynamic movements such as butt flicks, high knees, side shuffles and star jumps.
“This is a more functional style of warm up as opposed to traditional static stretching, which was popular in the past,” “Studies have revealed that static stretching neither increases heart rate or blood flow and can actually be counter productive in preventing injuries.”

Here are three important muscles to focus on during winter – and the warm up exercises that really get them moving.
1. CALVES
Your calves perform the function of plantar flexion or the extension of your ankle. This allows for the ‘push off’ phase when running, explains Chris. “Calf tears or strains are a common result of tight or cold muscles so a thorough warm up is essential.”
TRY >> 2-3 minutes of skipping a rope to dynamically warm up your calf muscles and ensure they are ready for action.

2. HAMSTRINGS
The hamstrings function is to bend your knees and move your hips backward – another major phase of running. If you have poor lower flexibility, it’s common to have tight hamstrings. This can lead to back and knee pain during and after running.
TRY >> 3 sets of 10 butt flicks. Stand with the knees close together, arms either down by your side or resting on top of your bottom. Flex your left knee and lift your left leg behind you so that your heel lightly it touches your glute, repeat with the right leg. The quicker you can perform this exercise the better.

3. QUADRICEPS
These muscles are powerful extensors of the knee joint used to straighten your leg. Your quads also work as flexors of the hip used to lift your leg. “Being such a large muscle, it is important to complete an effective warm up of this area before any workout”
TRY >> 10-15 jump squats. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders. Place your hands on your head with your elbows flared out. Slowly lower down into a squat and then explode up and jump as high as you can. As you land, lower back down into a squat to start the next repetition. “Remember, jump squats are among the most intense of the dynamic warm-up exercises, so schedule them toward the end of your warm-up period”



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