Remember To Warm Up!
By Fabian Williams
July 24, 2012
A proper pre-run routine will help you achieve peak performance and prevent injury.
A good warm-up is essentially the most important part prior to embarking on an exercise routine. It helps to prepare the body and mind for the intended exercise by increasing respiration and circulation to the active muscles and reduces the chances of sustaining injuries. Dynamic stretches makes use of the speed of movement, momentum and active muscular effort to induce a stretch as compared to static stretches, which often involves reaching forward to a point of tension and holding the stretch.
Studies have shown that it is more advisable for dynamic stretches to be carried out prior to exercising as it helps to increase core and muscle temperature, elongates the muscles and stimulates the nervous system. There are four basic stretching techniques: Ballistic stretching, Passive stretching, Contract-Relax stretching and Static stretching.
Four Types of Stretching Techniques
This is the most common type of stretching where there is no bouncing or rapid movement. The stretch is executed slowly and is held for at least 30 – 60 seconds.
It’s stretching while taking advantage of the momentum of a moving body in an attempt to force it beyond its normal range of motion. An example would be bouncing down repeatedly to touch your toes.
Otherwise known as relaxed stretching and it’s basically the same as static stretching. The only difference is that with passive stretching you don't supply the force to stretch a muscle, a partner or some type of apparatus does.
- Contract-Relax Stretching
Also known as proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), this was originally developed by physical therapists for rehabilitation purposes. It usually employs the use of a partner to provide resistance against the isometric contraction and to then take the muscle through its increased range of motion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fabian William is the Head Coach of Fabian Williams Coaching Concepts (FWCC) who is equipped with many athletic training certifications and credentials including one from the International Association of Athletes Federation (IAAF) Level 1. Besides his love for marathons and ultramarathons, he is also an avid lover of adventure races. Two of his more notable wins were at the inaugural adidas Sundown Marathon in 2008 and the SAFRA AVventura 2012. Fabian also started the “Run to Inspire” project where he teaches teenagers to believe in and realise their full potential.
Photos By RUN Singapore
Published in RUN Singapore Magazine (April/May 2012 issue)