A question was asked some time a go as to whether warm ups prevent injuries and the simple answer is ‘no’ they don’t help. But I could not find any information on how people warmed up? The key to an effective warm up is that to should be looked at as a phase where you need to transfer thought to your exercise program and leave the rest of your life ‘at the door’. In other words place all your concentration on what you are going to do as it is this lack of concentration that causes injuries…the body follows the mind after all and the lack of correct technique is the major reason for injuries to occur. So a mental exercise rather than a physical one…
Interesting point because I know from all the years of experience that once clients ‘switch on’ to what they are doing they will achieve the desired results…every time!
Cool down achieves the opposite where doing slow, relaxed stretching exercises at the end of a session starts the process of thinking about life outside the gym. This phase does not have to be longer than a few minutes, but the time allowed for this phase is up to the individual. So more mental transition of ‘switching off’ from your exercises program and ‘switching on’ to the rest of your life.
I have gone over this idea recently about how long you need to rest between sets of exercises and even though I don’t like taking more than 30 to 60 seconds between sets, I know that some clients need longer – particularly when they are just starting an resistance exercise routine. As I stated most people will need to take longer at the end of a workout(or a phase of the workout) as I do myself. I want to place maximum effort into every set and repetition, so I don’t set a specific time but I know when my breathing drops considerably I am ready for the next set. This usually happens suddenly, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve to shorten the process by rotating my arms backwards in a circular fashion while I take three slow breaths and imagine that I am breathing in energy from the environment around me. (And luckily for me I live in an environment where the temperature does not change throughout the year, so I exercise outdoors – which is easier to imagine this.)
So recover and put your mind into the moment (as this is the only thing that any of us actually possess anyway?)
Lastly in this post I want to cover a concept that a lot of you may not think about but is a very powerful tool in achieving your goals. If you don’t feel like exercising and you see it as more a mental thing rather than a physical one (in that you are sleeping well and eating properly etc.) Be as honest as possible when you ask yourself the question “Am I worth the effort I am putting into my exercise routine?” … and you may ask yourself this same question if you are not absolutely satisfied with any part of your life. It may seem an ‘off the wall’ thing to do but many people in the ‘Positive Thinking’ world see that the most important obstacle that prevents people from achieving anything they desire is they don’t truly believe that they are…worth the effort….?