Updated: Oct 2, 2018
John Withinshaw on why "gum bumping" is not enough to warm you up...
Here's the scenario........
So it's the weekend and you've arranged to go out with some friends for an early morning run. The route has been pre-arranged, and you know that the route you put up, with a wry smile, will determine who'll come.
It's a beautiful day, crisp and sunny, conditions couldn't be any better.
Everyone arrives at the designated meeting point, there's some informal chat about life, kids, pets, work, Peaky Blinders or Game Of Thrones.
After about 10 minutes someone shouts "ARE WE READY? LETS GO" and suddenly you're hoping that the gum bumping during conversation in the car park has been enough to warm up your entire body ready for the onslaught of hills and miles.......Probably not.
'It's OK, starting with a slow run will be fine, I'll soon warm up', yeah right!
You start feeling somewhat wooden or robotic, your joints are a little stiff and muscles are a far cry from elastic.
In reality this is where a large percentage of damage is done, an ankle twist, knee strain, hip jarring - possibly leading to a lower back twinge that if ignored will manifest into a shortened run and the afternoon on the sofa with an ice pack and a box of ibuprofen close at hand.
Day out running ruined, injury sustained and the possibility of running again comfortably in the next 3 months, doubtful.
This isn't just about the pre-run warm up you really ought to be doing, 5 minutes, 10 minutes even 15 minutes before you start, even though that is vitally important too.
I'm talking about the everyday stuff you could be doing to help prevent these injuries. To make sure your joints aren't stiff, that they're able to take the impact stresses of what you love to do........RUN, SWIM, BIKE, SKATEBOARD, HAND-GLIDING and so on.
A few minutes everyday doing some mobility work will go a long way to freeing your body up for you to enjoy your sport.
Even more so if you work behind a desk, as I know many of you do.
I'm going to give you some of my favourite mobility exercises that will help your core, hips, upper back (thoracic spine), shoulders and knees become bullet proof by encouraging the synovial fluid to warm up around the joints, range of motion (R.O.M) improvement and help you get your muscles in perfect condition to enjoy your sport.
I've introduced these, and many more, to my Triathlete clients, private clients and group fitness classes and they have been blown away by how much better they feel now they do this.
Click on the links to watch the videos;
Whole Spine Flexibility;
Try this first thing in the morning, it's incredible. Brace the core and practice deep diaphragmatic breathing. Continue for 1 minute.
Thoracic Spine (upper back) Extension;
Brace the core and practice deep diaphragmatic breathing. Continue for 1 minute on each side.
Lumber Spine (lower back) Mobility; (who said mobility isn't sexy)
Brace the core and practice deep diaphragmatic breathing. Continue for 1 minute in each direction. Standing Hip circles
Open Up The Hips;
Brace the core and practice deep diaphragmatic breathing. Continue for 1 minute in each direction.
Hips, core and Thoracic Spine;
Brace the core and practice deep diaphragmatic breathing. Continue for 1 minute.
Along with these I advise a good dynamic warm up before your activity, a long static stretch afterwards followed by some foam rolling for those who have seen the light of these magical implements of pain. They really are a runners best friend.
Give these a go and let me know how you get on.
In Fitness & In Health
John 'Mobility NINJA' Withinshaw