Most martial arts classes are structured to follow a similar pattern: warm-up, drills, sparring, cool down. No one gets a free pass to skip the warm-up. No matter how long you’ve been training, how fit you are, or how old you are, everyone must warm up before training.
Going from your daily life to martial arts takes some transition time. And a proper warm-up not only prepares your body for training but also prepares your mind.
The first five to ten minutes of a class spent warming up is important and comes with several benefits. A proper warm-up provides:
- Improved blood flow as blood vessels expand, making oxygen readily available to your muscles.
- Increased body temperature.
- Muscle activation which allows for better athletic performance.
- Quicker response of your nervous system.
- Increased muscle and connective tissue elasticity leading to a full range of motion.
- Increased concentration and cognitive ability.
- Reduced risk of injury.
An effective warm-up follows a few progressions.
Large muscle groups to smaller.
For example, you’ll warm up your legs and core before moving to smaller muscles in your neck, toes, or hands.
General to more specific movements.
For example, you might start jogging or jumping rope before moving on to lunges or hip circles.
Low to moderate intensity before higher intensity.
In this case, your movements will progressively become more intense as you raise your heart rate and body temperature.
A warm-up done properly prepares your body and mind to train effectively. But it is not to be mistaken for the training itself. By taking the time to warm up, you’ll get more out of the technical work you do during class, such as in drill work and sparring.
The Way Family Dojo in Magnolia is ready for you to experience all the benefits that martial arts has to offer. Contact us to learn more about how to get started.