7 Warm Ups for Cold Weather Training
First of all, good on ya’ for sticking with your training as it’s getting colder and colder in the lead up to winter. It’s not always easy to get up each morning and head out into the cold to push and punish yourself some more. To keep you on your way, we have 7 warm ups for cold weather training.
Yes, it’s tempting to jump straight into your workout to heat yourself up as soon as possible, but be careful. We all know the importance of a proper warmup before training, but it’s even more crucial when training in the cold. Cold muscles and stiff joints are at risk of injury. Your muscles are like elastic bands…as they warm up they become flexible or ‘stretchy’ and are less likely to snap.
7 Tips to Warm Up This Winter
So, here are 7 warm ups for cold weather training:
1. Start Slow
Remember the elastic band analogy? You want your muscles to be warm before stretching them, otherwise it’s like stretching an elastic band that you’ve just pulled out the freezer… If you’re off out for a run for instance, walk or take a gentle jog for 3-5 minutes to start off.
2. Get the Blood Flowing
This initial part doesn’t just have to be running. Improvise, do whatever suits you best. If you can’t quite bear to go outside at this stage, why not run up and down the stairs in your home a few times, do some high knees or jog on the spot. Anything to get the bloody flowing around your body, get your heart rate up and raise your core temperature.
3. Foam Rolling
If you have time for it, a foam roller is a great way to work through any of your body’s tight spots. Some would actually say foam rollers deserve an ornamental spot in the living room, that’s how handy they are, but you do you. If you can squeeze it in, have a quick roll to break down some of those tensions in your body before training.
4. Go Old School
We’re talking the 90s movements, Mr. Motivator, fluorescent lycra…jumping jacks, leg swings, arm circles, side shuffles. Yes, they’re the classic warm up movements that your P.E. teacher might’ve tried to drill into you when you were 5 years old, but these are dynamic movements that take your body through ranges of motion to help prepare you for your workout.
5. Or New School
If you can’t quite bear to get the lycra out and are a bit too hip ‘n trendy for jumping jacks, then perhaps try a few Vinyasa flows, inchworms, dynamic pigeons, and leg-crossovers.
6. Don’t Aim for Pain
You can expect to feel tension while you’re stretching in your warm up, but don’t be a sadist, don’t hurt yourself. If it begins to hurt, ease off, you’re trying to prevent an injury remember, not cause one!
7. Prime Your Area of Focus
Now that you’re warming up nicely, it’s a good idea to target the specific area you’ll be working out. If you’re in the gym ready for an upper-body session for instance, spend some time priming your shoulders and back, and activating your core and glutes with tailored exercises.
Warm Ups Done!
Well, let’s face it, warm ups are often the first thing to be disregarded if you’re in a hurry to get your training done. So, rather than see it as a waste of 5 or 10 minutes that’s taking away from your workout time, see it as part of your actual routine: you’re priming your body to help maximise the minimal time you have. There’s nothing worse than injuring yourself unnecessarily, after all 5 minutes is less than 0.4% of your day!
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The intensity of the exercise affects recovery much more than the duration of the exercise. Rest and recovery are just as important for endurance athletes as they are for any other athlete.
Please meet Sydney Uni Velo cyclist Barry (Baz) Doosey. Originally from Barrington Tops, Hunter Valley, NSW. We asked Baz about his cycling, inspiration and more in our latest Q&A.