Why Do We Prepare?
Running is a high intensity activity, with a lot of stress and strain in various areas of the body. We don't feel that it's harmful, in fact it can be quite good for you, but it is important to prepare ourselves for intense physical activity.
There is no guarantee that performing these movements will prevent injury, but there are never any guarantees when it comes to the body. But it won't hurt, and it's probably helping. People report feeling more "primed," or that their body feels more "engaged" after a good warm-up.
And the best part is, it doesn't have to take more than 10 minutes.
- Bring synovial fluid to the joints before loading them.
- Move in ways that are not quite like your activity.
- Increase circulation through the body, get the heart rate up.
- Dissociate joint movements and reduce possible compensatory movements.
It's Good to Have a Plan
Whenever we spend time warming up it's important to consider why we're doing a particular movement. Sometimes foam rolling certain areas can be a waste of time, and needlessly painful.
When we design these warm-ups we do two things. First, we break the activity down into smaller parts, so we can warm up the smaller components of each movement. Second, we try to warm up the other possible ranges our joints can attain.
We follow a formula when we are warming up. Credit is due to Functional Movement Systems for it.
Reset. Reinforce. Reload.
- Reset: Preparing tissues and movements for change. Self-massage, foam rolling, lacrosse balls, runner's sticks, Active Release Technique, chiropractic manipulation, instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization.
- Reinforce: Strategies to keep the new ranges of motion that can be attained with reset techniques.
- Reload: Strategies to change movement patterns in order to avoid future injury.