As a physiotherapist, I spend a lot of my time giving advice on what my patients should or should not be doing to prevent injuries when they are engaging in activities that they love doing. However, as I had mentioned in Part 1 of the blog, I am only human, and I am guilty of not always practising what I preach to my patients. In the past, I have neglected doing my warm-ups before a training session and suffered muscle strains as a result.
In Part 1, I had shared why it is important for you to warm-up properly prior to your classes and what happens to your body when you do, so that you can prevent injuries from happening to you. Here, in part 2, I will sharing some top tips for getting the best out of your warm-ups.
1. How long should I warm up my body for?
Typically, your warm-up should last between 10-20 minutes. It is very important to avoid waiting too long between your warm-up and your main activity, otherwise you lose the benefits of the warming up the muscles in your body.
2. What type of warm-up is good?
Stick to anaerobic exercises that gets the heart rate up without fatiguing yourself too much. Then, throw in 1-2 balance-based exercises towards the end to fire up the neural system. Do not forget the lower body- we need those muscles to transfer energy more effectively from lower to upper body during boxing! This will improve punch power, body balance and to evade any shots from your opponents!
3. What about stretching?
If you want to incorporate stretching into your warm-up routine, make sure to do dynamic stretches, especially those that are specific to boxing. These will increase full blood circulation, heart rate, respiratory rate and tissue temperature in the body. Dynamic stretches are superior to static stretching, especially prior to sparring or a competition.
An important note about stretching though! Stretching alone DOES NOT aid much in preventing injuries, it is more beneficial to train strength and skill rather than doing stretching only.
Now that you know why warm-ups are important and how to warm up properly, it is a no brainer to build them into every training session, game or activity. However, should the worst happen, remember to contact a physiotherapist for advice and to help you through the healing process.
By Kajal Kirpalani, BSc Physiotherapy. Kajal works as a Physiotherapist at The Physio Circle which is a rehabilitative clinic that strives to empower individuals to “Take Charge” of their injuries, health, and well-being so that you can still enjoy what you love doing. Read more about them here: www.physiocircle.sg