Cold Weather Means Warmer Muscles

Kitty & Blanket

A kitty & a blanket is hard to give up!

If you’re anything like me you hate the cold! Seriously hate it. All I want to do is take a bath and curl up on the couch with a blanket and a book. Forget stripping down and attempting to stick my body to a cold pole.

And although that bath would be nice.. so would the feeling of working up a sweat with some exercise. So out of bed I crawl.

The thing the with cold weather is (for me anyways); it takes forever to get warm. And I’m not just talking getting my blood pumping, but genuinely warming up my muscles and joints.

 

Enter the warm up.

I’m sure you’ve all heard how imperative it is to warm up before your practice. Not only does it get your blood moving but it prevents injury to the muscles and joints.

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But I’m sad to say, jumping around like a maniac for three minutes is a sorry excuse for a warm up. Just getting the blood pumping harder and having your face a bit flushed does not mean that your body is prepared to be stressed, contorted and challenged.

In order to ensure your muscles and joints are well protected, take each one through its full range of motion. Focus specifically on the shoulders, wrists, back and hips before you even touch the pole.

shoulder-internal-rotation

A great way to do this is with a bit of dynamic stretching and a few “pre-hab” exercises. Things like shoulder rolls and arm circles are great to start off with, but take it further by completing some internal/external rotations, dowel stretches and divebomber push ups. For the back of the legs begin with squats to warm them up and progress into dynamic quad, hamstring and hip stretches.

Remember, the goal is to warm up the muscles, not to push into the deepest splits you’ve ever done. Take it slow. Allow your body to adjust and get ready.

Proper warm ups can take anywhere from 5-20 min. Time it based on how your body is feeling and responding. Are you able to start stripping off those layers? Do you feel flexible and strong?

Failure to properly warm up is an easy way to end up with a muscle strain/tear or a joint injury. In which case, you won’t be doing any warming up or physical activity for a few weeks.

So as the temperature drops increase the length of your warm ups. Then feel free to flip, twirl, lift and bend.

Safe Dancing ๐Ÿ™‚