There are a number of reasons to warm-up before workouts. The primary reason to warm-up that everyone agrees upon is to warm-up your body and muscles, i.e. to raise your body temperature.
Pre-Stretch Your Body and Muscles
Gymnastic warm-ups can pre-stretch the muscles to prepare them for any potential purposeful or accidental stretching of the muscles during the workout. Depending on the workout structuring warm-ups can allow gymnasts to spend a period of time working before practice on increasing flexibility.
Build Up to the Intensity Level of Your Upcoming Workout
Warm-ups can be a method to build up to the level of intensity that your workout will be. Warm-ups can also be a time to spend time learning some new skills and drills. We frequently use warm-up time to develop skills for FX and beam.
Train to Compete
Warm-ups are also an excellent time when the team is all together to increase competition experience with contests, like handstand contests. This can also serve to build team spirit with this type of intra-squad team competitions.
Transition to Tumbling
Warm-ups also provide an excellent transition into line tumbling, beam line tumbling and tumbling practice.
Warm-up All Major Joints
You will want to do a complete warm-up. The first step is to warm up the muscles with some type of moderate aerobic exercise such as jogging for a few minutes until your body temperature rises. Then you want to stretch and warm-up all of your body’s major joints.
- Hips (Splits)
You don’t want to stretch your knees or elbows past a straight line position because excess flexibility can contribute to problems.
Examples of exercises for the major joints might include:
- Rock on Ankles
- Planche (lean way forward) on Wrists with hands both forward and backward
- Achilles stretch
- Kneel, lay back flat (toes and heels together)
- Hamstring stretch
- Splits (left, right and straddle )
- Bridge (backbends)
- Sit with Shoulders at full extension
Warm-Up Your Neck
- Knees by ears
- Rock to Nose
Vary the Warm-Up
For variety, sometimes it can be fun to wear weight vest and ankle weights during some warm-ups, warmup on the tumble tramp or even on the beam.
Take the Time to Prepare for Practice
Take the time to carefully prepare your body for the stress of practice and anything that might happen during practice.