Whenever we hear about warmup we see it as a slow walk on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike. But warming up is much more than this, it is practice of high intensity physical activity which you are going to undertake after that. Warmup is always advised to the runners and cyclists. As when we start a car directly we cannot give accelerator, we need to wait till engine heats up. Warmup also works in just similar way it provides cyclists and runners the heat to take up their physical work.
What is warmup?
According to definition: Warming up is preparation for physical exertion or a performance by exercising or practicing gently before hand. It is scientifically proven that it is inevitable for runners /cyclists to perform warmup as loosens the joints and gives elasticity to the muscles which helps in easily accomplishing the job.
Why warming up before cycling/running is important?
1. Prepares your body: Warming up prepares the body for the physical task you are going to undertake. It activates the muscles present and therefore the task can be smoothly done.
2. Prevents injury by decreasing muscle tension: Warming up before cycling/running makes tissues flexible and activates them also reduces the muscle tension which makes them elastic and reduces the stiffness of muscles. Therefore wearing and tearing does not take place. Warming up ensures no injury to the muscles.
3. Increases the temperature: warmup increases the temperature, heart rate and blood flow. As the temperature increases, the supply of oxygen to the muscles also increases which will make easy for muscles to contract and relax leading to ease in exercising.
4. It helps to get you mentally prepared: Jumping directly into cycling/running will make you easily tired and will pull off your mind. Rather performing same type of low intensity warmup exercises can help you prepare for it and will lessen the effect of tiredness. Take your time for thinking what sort of warmup you need to do, perform warmup. Always keep in mind “one must be mentally prepared before doing physical activities, to give better performance.”
no Exercise names Description No. of reps
1 Neck exercises a. Neck up and down
b. Left and right.
c. Side bending
d. Half rotation from left to right and right to left
Recommend that the runners have their eyes open throughout this sequence
2 Shoulder rotation Finger tips on shoulders and rotate such that elbows touch
4 in each side
3 Arm rotations Stretch your arms to the sides and rotate from the shoulder in backward and forward direction 4 in each
4 Hip rotation Rotate the hips:
b) Anticlockwise ×8 each leg
5 Samson stretch 1.Keep your chest up as you step forward with your right foot into a lunge position.
2.Lower the left knee to the ground. Extend the right knee forward.
3.Clasp your hands together and push them straight overhead. ×8 each leg
6 Frankenstein Walk 1.Take a step and kick your opposite leg straight up.
2. The kicking leg should remain straight and touch the hand of your outstretched arm. ×8 each leg
7 Leg swings forward 1.Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and hold onto a wall.
2. Keep one leg stationary, move the opposite leg forward and backward.
3. Switch the side and repeat until set is complete. ×10 each leg
7. Lateral leg swing 1.Stand directly in front of your support and place both hands on it.
2. Shift your weight to the right leg and swing your left leg to the left and then across your body to the right.
3. Repeat the movement with right leg till set is complete
×10 each leg
8 Jumping jack 8 times
9 Ankle exercises Foot up and down, Foot left and right and Foot rotation 8 times
Best warming up routine before cycling:
1. Stretching must be done before cycling. You can do any stretching i.e., dynamic stretching, static stretching, passive stretching and active stretching.
2. Leg swings are very important for cyclist as stiffness of hip muscles can lead to serious injures. So it should be included in warmup.
3. Lunges will increase strength of thighs and quads, helping you cycle longer, faster, and better.
4. Squats are complex exercises, that affect all muscles of the body including thigh, hips and arms which are employed in cycling.
5. Supine heel top activates your core which improves stability and bike handling capacities.
6. Doorway stretch is very useful to counteract the complaints of back pain by cyclists.
Positive effects of warmup are evident from the above discussion. And it is clear that warmup must not be avoided before cycling/running . Even if you are a professional at cycling or running it is necessary to perform warmup. So once you have prepared your body by doing stretching and some low intensity exercises, you are ready to go!
“ once you find warmup routine that suits you perform it as habitually as you can perform.”