By Dr Fauntine Lariba (Osteopath)
Gyms and studios are slowly reopening! There are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure that you safely return to your exercise routine:
A warm up is about getting the blood flowing with gentle progressive movements that prepare the joints, muscles and bones for the impact and movements to come.
A warm up should also ensure that you can achieve a safe and comfortable position before adding load and speed to it. For example, if the front of your hips are very tight and you have lunges programmed, you should make sure that your hips have sufficient range prior to starting your workout. Here is a short video that would help open up the front of your hips.
If it has been a while since engaging in a particular exercise, it’s always smart to start with less than you’re capable of and slowly build yourself back. Take your time, slow it down and just make sure that everything feels right.
Movements that require rebounding (eg/ jumping, hopping, bouncing) can be quite stressful on the joints if they have not been subjected to that type of stress for a while. Please start with a low impact exercise then progress your way to a more dynamic version. For example, you may start with static lunges then go to reverse lunges then fast reverse lunges then lunges with a hop.
If we train a group of muscles we are contracting and thus shortening these muscle fibres. Stretching and cooling down following exercise is important for maintaining good muscle length and health.
Cooling down also has a calming effect on the mind and body, helping you wind down and switch the body into a rest and recover mode.
If something feels painful make sure that you take action by noting it and seeing if you can alleviate the discomfort with a thorough warm up. But if this pain lingers or get’s worse please seek advice from an Osteopath. Addressing these problems whilst they are minor can save you a lot of time and pain in the long run
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