Let’s be honest: How many times have you been to class and just don’t understand why you need the warm up?
No one really likes warm ups, sometimes they are seen as a necessary evil.
They feel like they go on forever, sometimes they feel really hard as if your body is resisting this whole exercise idea and they can be repetitive and dull.
Plus there is the real life issue we all face, that you’re sometimes rushing into the gym after work and it so much more tempting to take your time getting changed to avoid the warm up. Warm ups are not the chore that you think they are, they are an important part of every class.
Lets have a look at 3 reasons you gotta stop skipping warmups and why they are necessary.
Your body is a well oiled machine, even though it may not feel it sometimes. Just like with any machine the moving parts are lubricated. In your body your major joints use synovial fluid to help with the smooth running. As you start to use your joints in your warm up and build up the pressure you put on them. The synovial fluid fills the gaps between your joints. By doing this your body is naturally reducing friction and also producing something that can act as a shock absorber. By doing this your body is protecting your joints and preparing for the battering you are going to give them in class.
The warm up is also meant to raise your heart rate. This improves the blood flow around your muscles getting them ready for more vigorous use. Improving flexibility and getting rid of that stiffness that comes from sitting at a desk in front of a computer all day. Allowing your muscles to slowly prepare for the impending exertion you are going to go through. Once again this is your body protecting you from the potential pulls and tears that can occur when stiff and cold muscles, are expected to work vigorously.
Beside your physical body warming up allows you that chance to park all the stressful stuff from the day and work. It allows you mind to focus on the being in your academy and let go of anything else. We all know that BJJ techniques are not easy and being able to concentrate, after a hard day at work can sometime be difficult. This short preparation gets your head in the zone and ready to learn, move, roll etc. Plus it is another way of protecting yourself. If your mind is somewhere else when you are training, you are more likely to injure yourself and potentially your partner.
Yes sometime the warm up can be less than fun, but it is an important part of any physical activity not just BJJ. As you can see from the previous reasons. If these were not convincing enough, you could consider making the warm up work for you. Integrate body movements that support the techniques you are going to be learning in class that day. Those extra 5-10 minutes every class doesn’t just have to be about just getting sweaty and breathless, you can use it actually improve your technique. Just think how much those 5 – 10 minutes add up to over a year. If you train twice a week thats approximately an extra 4 – 8hrs a year just by integrating some basic body movement as part of your warm up.
Warm ups can physically, mentally and technically beneficial to you. Like with everything with BJJ those little things can all add up and have big effects.