Kids and adults alike should take steps to prevent injuries at the gym. One of these, according to the coaches of Everest Gymnastics, is to warm up before any workout. Here, the staff explains more about the importance of giving the muscles time to prepare for intense activities.
Q: What does it mean to “warm up” before a workout?
Everest Gymnastics: Warming up is simply the process of easing your muscles into activity. It preps the body for fast movements, heavy weights, or unexpected twists and bends. A quick warm-up session also gets your heart rate up so you aren’t kicking it into high gear from a resting rate.
Q: How do you warm up for a gymnastics training session?
Everest Gymnastics: At Everest Gymnastics, we usually start by stretching. Gymnasts have long known that a few gentle stretches can prevent “cold muscle” injuries and help prolong productive time on the mat. It’s crucial to stretch, jog, or do a low-impact version of whatever exercise you plan to do.
Q: Is there ever a time when it is not appropriate to stretch?
Everest Gymnastics: Yes, if it hurts. Of course, this also means that you should not engage in your exercise routine either since doing so may lead to even more discomfort.
Q: How important is breathing during a stretching routine?
Everest Gymnastics: It’s essential. When you control your breathing patterns, you give your muscles the oxygen they need to function at peak. Further, paying attention to your respirations can keep you from getting winded as you ramp up the intensity of your workout.
Q: Are there any special steps that gymnasts must take to prepare for landing?
Everest Gymnastics: Gymnasts go airborne hundreds to thousands of times each month. And as the rules of gravity dictate, what goes up must come down. A student’s gymnastics teacher will show them how to condition their bodies and how to position themselves to best disperse the force of impact when they land. This might include doing squats or special stretches.
Q: What is the most important part of the warming up process?
Everest Gymnastics: Doing it before each workout. If a gymnast jumps right into a routine, even if it is one they have done hundreds of times, they can risk muscle damage or whole body injury. The body has to be ready, and it is warming up that makes that possible.
Q: Does Everest Gymnastics Teach their students about core strength?
Everest Gymnastics: Absolutely. Just as important as flexibility is the strength of core muscles, specifically around the back and abdomen. Gymnastics students put their back and spine to the test each time they hit the mat. We make a point to discuss core strength and control with each student and keep body conditioning a central theme throughout their training.
Everest Gymnastics believes that the safety and well-being of their students is more important than any accolade or recognition. Stretching is just part of the puzzle, and anyone interested in enrolling their child into a gymnastics program should consult with their pediatrician to make sure they are healthy enough for physical activity.