I’ve written a number of articles about injury prevention and the importance of following these four steps:
1. Foam Rolling (Self-Myofascial Release or SMR)
4. Strengthening (The “workout”)
These four steps help prevent imbalances and make sure you have good movement patterns.
However, most people skip the first three steps and go right to the fourth step because the fourth step is fun and they see the most direct results from it (aka weight loss, strength, endurance).
What they don’t realize though is that without the first three steps, without a well-balanced program, they risk having all that work they put in at the gym to lose weight and get stronger, backfire on them.
Because jumping right into your work out after you’ve been sitting all day doesn’t make for good movement patterns.
Why doesn’t it make for good movement patterns?
Because you are sitting at a computer all day typing, which isn’t a natural position for us!
And sitting in that unnatural position for 9 hours a day means that you are going to have created imbalances – imbalances that won’t truly allow you to do all of your exercise movements correctly.
So if you always just jump right into your workouts and do nothing to reverse the effects of sitting at your desk all day, you are probably going to get injured.
You can’t skip your “warm up!” Because your warm up is when you begin to reverse all those negative effects from sitting all day!
You need to WARM UP your body and ready it for the more intense movements it’s going to do. You need to loosen up tight muscles, return them to their proper length-tension relationships and then you need to get those underactive muscles active and ready to do the work they should be doing.
Here are some great guidelines to follow for a proper warm up.
Also, when it comes to warming up, I often find that people do know a variety of stretches to do. They even more often know what activation moves to do than they do foam rolling techniques to use.
Foam rolling is still one of those things that isn’t as widely known or as widely used.
That is why I put together a Foam Rolling Course to Alleviate Aches and Pains…Because all too often people don’t know how to target specific areas of pain.
This course has 33 videos showing you how to roll out common areas of tightness throughout your body. It also does have stretching, activation and strengthening moves included for common aches, pains and injuries.
So don’t skip your warm up and jump right to step four. If you want to prevent injury, you need to warm up properly and foam rolling, stretch and activate!
P.S. Here is also a great basic full body warm up I use!