One of the most overlooked and underdeveloped aspects of a workout is the warm-up. Trainers and clients alike quickly skip through his section to get to the more “important” exercises. A proper warm-up can help improve performance as well as prevent injuries, which is why we should spend more time preparing the body for the workload of the session. In this blog, we will discuss the 5 aspects of a great band warm-up for you to incorporate in your next workout.
5 Aspects of a Great Band Warm-Up
- Postural Activation: We know that one of the most important aspects of warming up the body is preparing the joints for great ranges of motion. Bands are useful for initiating stability in the stabilizing musculature around ball and socket joints like the shoulders and hips. Typically, this is referred to as “postural activation.” This allows for the muscles around the joints to work in synergistic manner allowing the joints to perform and function effectively. While warming up, use a lighter (or more loose band) to move through shoulder and hip stability and mobility exercises with an slowly increasing range of motion.
- Planes of Motion: As humans, we move in multiple planes of motion, so our workouts should move in the same manner. When creating a warm-up in one plane of motion (typically, the sagittal plane is over used), this limits the amount of range of motion and functional training that can occur. Instead of moving in only one direction, use the band to incorporate multiple planes into one series. For example, step on the band while moving into a back lunge and holding the band above the head; slowly rotate the torso towards the front knee and return to the center.
- Prepare for Larger Load: On of the amazing aspects of working with resistance bands is the ability to adjust the workload almost instantly. But moving further away to the anchor point, you make the movement progressive; by moving closer to the anchor, you lighten the load of the movement. A proper warm-up prepares the body for the rest of the workout. A great way to prepare for power or agility motions that will come later in the training session is to “practice” the exercises with lighter loads (a lighter or looser band) and smaller ranges of motion. Another reason to have a workout plan before you start your session.
- Entire Unit: As you train, think of the body as one interconnected unit, not separate pieces working individually. Most of your warm-up motions should also move in this mentality. Skip the isolated single joint action and try using multiple joints to help circulate the body, bring oxygen to the brain (hey it makes you smarter!) while moving in a more functional manner.
- Skip the Stretches: When most people see a resistant bands, they immediately think of static passive stretches. But for your warm-up, skip the static holds and move through dynamic ranges of motion. Start with an easy stretch and moving back to ‘home’ with your slow and controlled breath. As you move again, stretch slightly further and move back to ‘home’, ever increasing the range of motion but never moving to the point of pain.