The importance of a good warm-up

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No matter whether you are an occasional runner, a dedicated gym-goer or a professional athlete or trainer, staying injury free is always going to be one of your main goals. Torn tendons, groin strain and shoulder pain are all common complaints. You don’t need to be in the gym to pick up an injury either. If you sit down at a computer desk all day and have a poor posture then it’s fairly likely that you’ll experience back pain at some point. There are various ways to help avoid injury, from maintaining the correct posture during workouts to staying within your limits and listening to your body.

A good stretch
Many people who remember exercise classes at school will have been taught the importance of stretching on the spot before engaging in a physical activity as it helps to reduce the chances of picking up an injury. Well, studies have shown that not only is stretching in this manner counter-productive, it is also potentially harmful and can even lead to injuries. Some say that because stretching increases flexibility, when performed at the correct time it can help reduce the possibility of injury, although research carried out at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that most injuries are actually sustained within a person’s normal range of motion.

The warm-up
Stretching while cold is definitely out but carrying out dynamic stretching as part of a controlled workout is certainly in! Activity-specific dynamic stretching is the best option as you’ll be targeting the muscles you’ll mainly be using later on in the workout. Activities such as a light jog will increase heart rate and the flow of blood to the muscles, allowing the individual start off with small controlled motions before building up to their full range.

Of course, injuries can still occur even when you take care to warm-up correctly, which is why having adequate insurance for personal trainers is so vital for instructors working in the health and fitness sector as it will make sure they’re covered financially if they’re put out of action for a period. The same goes for individuals. They can choose from a range of sports insurance policies which will perform a similar function should they pick up an injury.

Just remember though – following the right warm-up exercises, maintaining good form during exercise and listening to your body can have a huge effect when it comes to minimising opportunities for picking up injuries.

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