Stretching BEFORE training

Fitness & Wellness
Written by: Manuele Trezzi at 4 November '16 0
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Let’s see what you should do during those few minutes before training!

Your training session begins at 8 p.m. but you are already at the poolside by 7.45 and you do not know what to do for the next few minutes. Instead of just sitting or looking around, why do not you start to get your body ready for training?! You might think: “Ah well, the first part will be a warmup anyway”. That is very true, but why do not you view these few minutes as a pre-warmup and so, today, we will see why and how this time can be useful.

It is easy to explain “why”. The most useful thing about a pre-warmup is that it allows you to get in the water and feel good right away, without perhaps spending the first few minutes swimming with tiny twinges and pains all over your body. It will certainly help prevent injuries. But there are also other benefits deriving from performing a few exercises, like, for example, improving the flexibility of your muscles and joints.

So let’s move onto “how”. For either work or study reasons, perhaps you have spent most of the day sitting down, which means your joints and muscles are particularly stiff and “switched off”. So the “how” should include exercises that activate and loosen up all your muscles and joints. That is why it is obvious that the exercises in question will not include holding static positions for 30” or longer (known, by definition, as static stretching). The exercises should include movements that gradually get faster and stretch your joints to an increasing extent: that is why it is referred to as dynamic stretching.

Below you will find a routine of exercises to pre-warmup in the best possible way from your head to your toes.

– Neck flex-extension: flex and extend your neck at a controlled pace (you basically have to nod your head). Excellent for warming up the neck area.

– Forwards/backwards arm rotations: to warm up your shoulders, extend your arm and rotate it first forwards then backwards. Repeat the same exercise with both arms at the same time.

– Hips rotations: describe gradually increasing circles with your hips (as if you were using a hula hoop) to warm up your hip joints.

– Forward/backward lunges: working both forwards and sideways, lunge forwards/backwards or to-the-right/to-the-left with each leg to warm up your leg muscles. Keep your legs tensed and gradually try to stretch your joints as far as possible

Perform 20 reps or 15”-20” for each individual exercise. Repeat the circuit either 2-3 times.


Written by:

Manuele Trezzi

A top-class swimmer who still competes, he has taken part in and reached the finals of Italian championships, as well as winning lots of regional titles. A FIN swimming instructor and trainer, FIT fitness trainer for tennis, and a graduate in the Motor Sciences from Milan State University, he has been working all these fields since the beginning of 2013.