Warming up and the myth of stretching

Myth of stretching

What you normally do before running or exercise? Yes, that’s warm-up! To do some stretching you learnt since primary school, like pulling your heel towards the bottom, or bend over your trunk to reach the ground. However, do you really feel your body warmed up after a bout of stretch? No but tight! According to recent researches, static stretching even shown negative effect on subsequence exercise performance. So, the TRUE warm-up is to prepare our body by increasing body/muscle temperature, blood circulation and movement rehearsal for the following exercise, in order to prevent injuries.

 

Examples of Dynamic (active) warm up for runner

1. Leg swings front to back

Function: This warm-up can activate your thigh (hip flexors, gluteus, quadriceps, hamstrings) muscles which greatly involved in the foot strike and take off phase of running cycle.

    • Keep you knee straight
    • Swings one of your leg front to back, just reach the point of discomfort
    • Swings about 10-15 times per leg
    • Repeat on the other leg

 

2. Leg swings side to side

Function: This warm up can activate your groin muscles (hip adductors, gracilis) which important to stabilise your knee movement in running.

    • Keep you knee straight
    • Swings your leg side to side, just reach the point of discomfort
    • Swings about 10-15 times per leg
    • Repeat on the other leg

 

3. Lunge and twist

Function: This warm up can activate your thigh (quadriceps) and abdominals muscles which possibly prevent lower back injury from running

    • Forward lunge, keep your front knee in about 90 degree
    • Notice your front knee should not pass your feet
    • Rotate your trunk towards the leading leg side
    • Lunge and twist about 5 times per leg
    • Repeat on the other side.

 

4. High knees

Function: This warm up can activate the hip muscles (iliopsoas) and let your body get used to the alternating hip flexion pattern which essential in running.

    • Stand tall
    • Alternatively drive your knees toward your chest and quickly place it back on the ground
    • Incorporate with arm swing if possible
    • 10 reps per leg

 

5. Butt kick

Function: This warm up can activate your posterior hip (hamstrings) and let our body get used to the alternating knee flexion pattern which essential in running

    • Stand tall
    • Alternatively drive your heels toward your butt and quickly place it back on the ground
    • Meanwhile, you should keep your thigh vertical to the floor
    • Do 10 reps per leg

 

 

6. Long arm swings 

Function: This warm-up can activate your shoulder (deltoid) which will employ a lot in the arm swings during running

  • Stand tall
  • Alternatively swing your arm front and back
  • You should feel mild stretch pain free on your shoulder
  • Swings 10-15 times per arm

 

 

 

 

Don’t have that spare time to do dynamic warm-up before your race? Then the OXD heat/intense heat gel would be a fast and effective solution that save your time to warm the muscles. The OXD heat/Intense heat formulated for preparing muscles before physically demanding exertion or exercise in adverse environmental conditions. After applying heat to our muscles, we can increase the flexibility, temperature of the muscles and reduce the risk of suffering injuries, pulled muscles or any other normal physical discomfort and pain. Its light texture makes application easy and it is quickly absorbed. It does not stain your clothes and it does not make your skin feel sticky.

 

Here are some common areas that you may want to warm them up before the race, such as lower back, butt, thigh, calf and shin. Apply appropriate amount of gel on the muscles, massage gently follow the muscle belly. You may apply the OXD heat/intense heat gel 5-10 minutes before your race for a better absorption.

i.e. for intense heat gel, not recommended for long massages.

 

OXD mixing tips for sports therapist/physiotherapist:

 

On-field support usage:

Before/during game massage: Massage cream + intense heat cream/ heat cream

Short and superficial massage for muscle warm up

Clinical usage:

For trigger point/fascia release: Recovery + Heat/ Intense heat