The autumn season is almost over and winter is starting to show its frigid head. That means having to wake up a whole ten minutes earlier just to warm up the car. Now, I realize that newer cars don’t need as much time warming up but what about athletes? Athlete are not cars and people need to warm up. I have, too many times, seen athletes skip the warm-up and getting right into a gritty WOD. .
The warm-up phase is the most important step in fitness.Doing a few minutes of static stretch while checking social media is not warming up. A proper warm-up helps prevent injury, flush out lactic acid and aids in mental preparation. It shouldn’t be ignored.
CrossFit has provided us with the opportunity to live a healthier life through the pursuit of elite fitness. However, in the blink of an eye, those goals can be derailed through injury. The warm-up is our primary tool to fight of injury. By gradually increasing the heart rate and circulation, we loosen up joints, increase blood flow to muscles and prime the body for strenuous exercise.
Two things CrossFitters know is how to tackle an intense WOD and the soreness that follows. Delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS is that stiffness or tightness in muscles holding on to lactic acid, a byproduct of strenuous exercise. Getting our body to pump oxygen rich blood through our muscles allows us to flush and removed this buildup. Ever notice the beginning of any warm-up feels horrible?
If you asked any person to attempt a complex and dynamic movement without practicing it first, it wouldn’t end well. Athletes looking to get better at any skill need to create opportunities to get better. Warming up allows us to expand our understanding of compound skill and accomplish movement better and safer.
Now I realize all this warm-up stuff is requires a lot of effort and is nowhere near exciting. It is however, important, especially during the colder weather. But if we are going to perform with the speed, intensity and grace, we can’t ignore the warm up. Be smart, pop in early, do the warm-up with purpose and I guarantee a better athletic experience free from injury and excessive soreness.