How often have you heard about the importance of doing a warm-up before the main part of the workout or performance? It has been proven that by doing some light intensity exercises beforehand, you boost your performance and reduce the risk of injury. So, make sure you begin by doing a proper warm-up.

A warm-up not only prepares you physically but also mentally as you activate the motor units. If you practice the movements by gradually increasing the intensity, your muscles will perform better, especially when you will be working close to your maximum capacity.

What should be included in a warm-up?

1. Raising the temperature

First, the body temperature needs to be raised by increasing blood circulation to the muscles, therefore, doing a pulse-raiser exercise is a good way to start.

Examples: perform a light intensity activity such as jogging or multi-joint exercises in order to stimulate the big muscle groups and this will lead to an acceleration of your heart beats.
You can also do some movement specific exercises with a lighter load in a circuit of two or three rounds.

2. Loosen up the joints

After the pulse-raiser, it is important to make sure that our joints are ready for the main activity by reducing any stiffness. To do so, make sure to cover every type of movement possible in that joint before loading it up. This will lead to an increase in secretion of the synovial fluid that will reduce the friction between the articular cartilage.

Examples: perform some flexion-extension with most of the joints then continue with some rotation exercises for ankles, wrist and also for the ball and socket joints like hips and shoulders.

3. Dynamic stretches

Last but not least, it is also important to reduce tension in the muscles in order to make sure not to produce strains or ruptures of the fibres during sudden movements.

The ideal protocol is to hold each position for about 4-5 seconds, for as many sets as needed, instead of doing one long hold. Long holds (or static stretches) are great but only after completing the main part of the workout or performance.

Example of wrist preparation for handstands and acrobatics:
Start in a kneeling position and place your palms flat on the floor. Start leaning forward and backwards for a couple of times then change the angle of your palms (turn them out slightly) and repeat the forward-backwards movements. When your fingers are facing sideways start performing rotations on both directions.

Example of multi-joint stretches:
Start in a kneeling position and place one leg sideways. Bring the opposite hand up and bend over the extended leg and hold for a couple of seconds. Return to the starting position and change sides. Perform 3-4 sets.

The videos you seen earlier are part of the “Training for Acro” exercise database.

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