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Is warming up really necessary?

warm up necessary or not


Honestly, from skater to skater: warming up can be a waste of time, right? Still, it can be very important to do so if you want to improve or even if you just want to avoid injury. Skating is an intensive hobby and demands a lot from your body, so it's best to prepare it like you would prepare yourself to go outside during winter. And in case you're not going to believe me, I took the time to ask an expert. This is what he wrote for me:

Let’s Talk Warm-Up

When asked to write a little article every issue, to educate and help the Blading community, I doubted not a second. What better than learning a little bit about the blading body every time a new issue comes out?
For our first encounter, I want to talk to you about warming up before doing physical activity or in this case Blading. I will lightly address why you should warm up, how you should warm up and what it can mean for your body. If you are afraid that this will be a technical and boring monologue on how bad it is to not stretch, I can assure you: it isn’t. This little article is not a lecture nor a sermon. For I, The Blading Physio, also dares to go skate without warming up. I’ll try to entertain you with bits of knowledge wrapped in metaphores. So let’s get into it!

WHY

Warming up is the thing nobody has time for, but complains afterwards about not doing it, when the body avenges the mind.
Let me get this straight. The word «warm-up» already explains a lot why you should do it. It literally warms up the body. The body temperature can rise 2-3°C and this effect can last for 45 minutes. This increase in temperature has a lot of benefits, which will be discussed later on in the «WHAT» section. Think of your body as a car. A pre-heated car is way more effective in winter. If you let your engine run for a few minutes before going to work, your windows are thawn, your car is pleasantly warm inside and it runs smoother while driving. Bonus: Every time you notice someone who was late, didn’t have the time to «warm-up» their car and now has to peek through a little scratched surface of his frozen windshield. You think by yourself ‘what a noob’. This is the same with your own body. Not increasing your body temperature before shredding, is a noob move (Sorry).

So why not let your body run smoother and get pleasantly warm before blading?

HOW

You want to prepare your body the best way possible for the task you’re going to impose it. Blading.
The body needs to be prepared to be able to adapt through all the aspects of your skate session that day. Let’s see: Rolling around (with different paces), jumping up the obstacles (strength), going lower in the slides (mobility), jumping out of the slide and absorbing the impact of it or the impact of a fall (load management). So we want our warm-up to be general (just raising the temperature) and specific (preparing for the tricks). For example: cruising around the park on the skates, just getting warm. Roll around, scout the terrain and get ready for your session. This is just in general some light cardio already. Besides that, you want to specifically prepare the body with some deep squats, lunges, stretches, jumps,…

How you want to warm up is up to you, but take these aspects in consideration when you do it. Five minutes general, Five minutes specific and you’re good to go!

WHAT

Forcing myself to not get too technical, I still want to explain a bit of how it all works. Because doing it is one thing (You’re not a noob!), knowing why you do it is another thing. Don’t do it because I said so. Do it because you understand it and want to achieve more. To get better in blading and prevent yourself from injuries.

As mentioned earlier. The body temperature raises a proximately 2-3°C when warming up. This heating effect helps muscles and tendons to loosen up and be more able to stretch. Therefore stretching the muscles is easier and more effective AND because they are warmed up, also less prone to strains (injuries in general).
Warmth brings an increase of blood in that place of the body. More blood means more oxygen going to that place (Oxygen is the fuel for your engine, if you’re still into the car-metaphor.). So more oxygen (more fuel), means better skating. But also, on the neurological side you’ll improve. The brain and nerves transmit all the ongoing information in the body. So warming up, is telling the brain to get ready for a certain activity, which will help you improve doing that activity.
Again with the car. A warmed up car runs better, because it is prepared for the activity. Doing 10 squat jumps before jumping up a ledge will help you get easier on that ledge. Physically as well as mentally.

I know this sounds simple, but in fact. It’s that simple. Preparing the body to do something, will improve it, while doing it. Even reaction time (which is a very important thing while falling) enhances when warming up!
I think you understand now. To skate longer, you have to take more care of your body. It doesn’t need to be extensive and long. A little bit, can change a lot. Try to see it as a habit, not a task.

Kind Regards
The Blading Physio

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