Warm-up. Muscle Activation

Coaches keep repeating that a warm-up is the most important part of the training. Why?

It’s not only about increase in your body’s temperature, broader range of motion in the joints and improvement of the circulatory, nervous and respiratory systems. A proper warm-up prepares the whole body for a workout and protects it against injuries.

During a warm-up we can focus on a given muscle. As a result, the movement system is activated both during the warm-up and proper training. By activating a given muscle, we not only reduce the risk of injuries but also protect it against them. We can also improve the action of key muscle groups in this way.

 

How can you activate major muscle groups?

A good example of a body part that is overlooked during warm-ups are the gluteal muscles, which we use very intensively every day, not only during running, but also walking. The great gluteus muscle is responsible for controlling the bending of the torso on the side of the basal leg, the extension in the hip during rebound and the swing range of the leading leg. The middle gluteal muscle and wide fascia stretcher condition abduction, external rotation, and extension in the hip joint. Working on these muscles significantly improves the lower parts of our body. I think that moderately intensive activation of gluteal muscles is the most effective.

 

In order to achieve it I recommend:

  • Pelvic thrust;
  • Workouts based on external rotational movement (standing and lying);
  • Lateral walk;
  • Exercises with mini bands;
  • Roller – it releases the fascia and warms up the muscles.

 

Another important but neglected group of muscles are deep muscles called “core”. They have the task of keeping the spine straight, they take care of a strong diaphragm and an fit pelvis.

  • Plank – doing this exercise properly is extremely important not to hurt yourself. It’is one of my favorite exercises!

 

Remember that activating a muscle group is a great way to protect against injuries. Stabilization, greater awareness, and movement control are the best way to avoid injuries.

As a result you will achieve:

  • Better results during your workout;
  • A stronger body;
  • Greater stability;
  • Movement control.

 

To conduct a specific warm-up, you don’t need any specialized equipment (although I would wholeheartedly recommend a mini band for starters), just the will and some floor space, but keep in mind that this is a more advanced form of training. It requires much more time and precision, thanks to which you will perform the exercise correctly.

 

Remember that quality matters over quantity! Let’s get down to work 🙂

Anna Lewandowska

Athlete and nutrition specialist. Multiple medalist of the national in traditional karate in European and World Championships. Author of workout plans and books on healthy lifestyle that have helped her motivate over a million of people to change their lives for the better.

Founder of Healthy Plan by Ann, Diet & Training by Ann. CEO of Foods by Ann. Co-founder of Baby by Ann.

Wife of footballer Robert Lewandowski, the captain of the Poland national football team and Bayern Munich player. Read more »

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