View Full Version : Whats your favorite warm up technique and why?
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09-24-2002, 06:40 AM
I have never been comfortable leading my class through warm ups. They always tend to be the same, or very similar.
So, I am hoping to hear from students and teachers over what their favorite 'things' to do in warm up are, and why.
I am looking to change my warm up routine with a list of new and fun variations from you all
thanks in advance,
Seems to be a bit of a chinese influence on some of our warm up techniques. One of my facourites is similar to something you probably do already - feet 2 shoulder widths apart, knees bent, facing forwards. Stretch in front of you, then describe a large circle with your arms, moving, with the bend at your waist (so half way through you are leaning backwards). Do 4 in each direction, slowly and stretching as far as possible.
I'd heard that Ueshiba didn't do many warm up excercises as he expected you to do them before class (maybe later on). A good warm up is ai-hanmi ikkyo, where uke pushes through and you move your body around this centre point to do a very blending style ikkyo. Not only does it get you into blending, but it gently warms up your back, wrists and toes. (won't work if force used!)
P.S. A recent scientific study has suggested that cardiovascular excercise is better for warm ups (to avoid injury) than stretching.
09-24-2002, 09:03 AM
Thanks for the reply :)
Yes, I have done those before.. but never actually lead the class in them. They are ones that dont pop straight to mind when I start the class... but maybe tonight, because I love that Ikkyo one.
I'm a big fan of cardio warm ups myself... students tend not to be though ;) hehehe
09-24-2002, 10:00 AM
Personally, I still shadow box to warm mysefl up. A few punches and kicks does the body good.
When I lead a class, I often just say, "Please take a few minutes on your own to do what you need to warm yourself up." Usually, I'll do this with a group of folks who have some experience in the art and know a good set of warm-up routines; with beginners classes, I'll run through the usual set of warm-up routines.
I personally usually do some rolling to warm myself up. I also stretch a bit to "work out" the joints before class, but I usually reserve my "real" stretching after the class when my entire body is warmed up.
09-24-2002, 10:32 AM
Body prone on the ground, hips and legs stay flat as you curve your shoulders upward as if you were doing a pushup with the top of your body, head tilts up to look at the ceiling.
After 20 to 30 seconds raise you body up into an arch like a pyramid, work the legs alternately, then back into the lower stretch 20-30 seconds later.
Snake arches upward, bridge opens to let the boat through.
09-24-2002, 11:52 AM
A consistent set of warm up exercises provides a foundation which allows students to make necessary adjustments for themselves before class. Variations to warm up based on an instructional plan, such as kicking stretches preceeding kicking practice, is another matter. Predictability has benefits, too.
I have never been comfortable leading my class through warm ups.
Yea, I know what you mean. The worst is the guy who counts through the warmup as if he's got to get to 10 as fast as he can.
I'm kind of like Jun on this one. I pretty much let people do what they want to do in terms of stretching and then do a gradual warm up in terms of the practice. Of course, beginners means structure. I'll start with something static and slow, move to something with a bit of movement, maybe some rolls (low and mellow) and then move to a more dynamic practice.
When I played basketball I used to do a lot of stretching and it seemed (no scientific study here :)) to take a bit out of me and I'd seemly get injured just as much, or more, as when I didn't stretch. I eventually changed what I did and now rarely do a full-on stretch prior to class preferring to just do a gradual warm up.
09-24-2002, 01:48 PM
1) I'm kind of like Jun on this one. I pretty much let people do what they want to do in terms of stretching and then do a gradual warm up in terms of the practice.
2) When I played basketball I used to do a lot of stretching and it seemed (no scientific study here :)) to take a bit out of me and I'd seemly get injured just as much, or more, as when I didn't stretch. I eventually changed what I did and now rarely do a full-on stretch prior to class preferring to just do a gradual warm up.
To answer the original question ("I am hoping to hear from students and teachers over what their favorite 'things' to do in warm up are, and why."), I begin with laps around the dojo--running, er, trotting, really. I find that SUBURI at the same time makes me warmer faster and so will institute that in my classes, too. I sometimes do jumping-jacks, the only benefit of which is, indeed, thermal. This is so popular with some students that they come late to class ten minutes. I do stretching AFTER class (see the reference below which persuaded me to do this.)
1) One of the few times I've disagreed with Jun. I do warm ups in my class--contra the pointed comment of a peer who said he leaves that as trainees responsibility BEFORE class--because most people don't actually do warm ups at all. They stretch. Indeed, at the dojo where I train, I make sure to get to class half an hour early to get "Warmed Up". "Warm-ups" in the dojo--i.e., stretching--actually cool me down. I regard this as unsafe and therefore act as much as it is in my power to do so, to countermand it when teaching. (Alas, as a post above grinned, folk don't always like that.)
2) Your experience reiterates research. See Duane Knudson; Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, Reston; Sep 1999; Vol. 70, Iss. 7; pg. 24, 5 pgs
There is a lack of scientific evidence supporting the injury-preventing or performance benefits of stretching during warm-up for most activities. The primary injury-prevention benefit of a warm-up seems to be related to the increased temperature of the muscle. There is even evidence that isometric muscle actions as warm-up may be as effective as stretching in creating a decrease in passive tension in muscle (Safran et al., 1989; Taylor, Brooks, & Ryan, 1997). Light to moderate muscle actions of gradually increasing intensity are more appropriate than stretching as warm-up activities for most sports.
In some activities where static flexibility beyond normal ranges is needed (e.g., diving, gymnastics, and dance), stretching during the warm-up may be indicated because of a short-term increase in static flexibility. This stretching, however, should occur only after several minutes of light movement elevates the body temperature.
There is strong evidence of longterm increases in static flexibility, but inconclusive evidence of changes in dynamic flexibility with stretching. Stretching for most physical activities should be scheduled during the cooldown phase of a workout. "
1) One of the few times I've disagreed with Jun. I do warm ups in my class--contra the pointed comment of a peer who said he leaves that as trainees responsibility BEFORE class--because most people don't actually do warm ups at all. They stretch.
Oh, I agree with you. That's why I usually say "warm up" rather than "stretch." I even ask people to do some warm-up exercises such as a bunch of front rolls and such if I see they're just on the ground trying to touch their nose to their feet.
Don, thanks for that post.
09-24-2002, 10:06 PM
I agree with Mr Don Modesto regarding getting the muscles warm before stretching.
Our warm up routine incorporates some light jogging and/or basic movements (irimi and tenkan), followed by fune kogi undo or ikkyo undo or some other breathing exercises to generate some ki and energise the body. This is followed by stretching, ukemi and shikko (sp?). The routine takes about 20 to 30 minutes. There is about an hour of instruction followed by a cool down of about 10 minutes.
As for a personal favourite, I like doing fune kogi undo or ikkyo undo. I feel quite warm and ready to train.
Happy training all :)
When I used to commute an hour to get to the dojo, I used to try to get there about thirty minutes before class started. I would spend that time just doing the rowing exercise...
09-24-2002, 10:49 PM
...I used to try to get there about thirty minutes before class started. I would spend that time just doing the rowing exercise...
Its a wonderful exercise to prepare the mind and body to accept training. For me it seems as though techniques and the principles within those technqies become clearer.
Happy training :)
09-25-2002, 02:54 AM
Thanks for all of the responses, I can take alot from it.
Don, I have been told similar things about stretching myself, and i tend not to do static stretches during warm ups.
Have you ever seen passive stretching? if you haven't then I think it would be ideal for your cool down period.
For anyone who doesn't know what passive stretching is, a small example of it could be;
One person lies on their back, the second person takes hold of their leg and raises it, keeping it straight towards their head. (kind of as if they were doing a high kick, whilst laying down) They raise the leg up until the point at which they meet resistance, then they hold the leg in that position.
The person laying down relaxes. After around 30 seconds to 2 minutes the leg itself will relax and the person holding it will be able to move it even further in the stretch.
an advanced form of this is when the person laying down pushes back against the person holding the leg as hard as they can for 10 seconds then relaxes. The leg will extend greatly beyond the point at which it could go earlier and this should be repeated 2 or 3 times giving around an extra 6 inches extension.
09-25-2002, 06:10 PM
When I used to commute an hour to get to the dojo, I used to try to get there about thirty minutes before class started. I would spend that time just doing the rowing exercise...-- Jun
Did you ever get high doing it? Saotome says he used to...
No, I can't say I've ever gotten high off of doing funakogi undo. Yet.
Gyaku-hanmi sokumen is our most common warmup technique. Or suwari-waza ai-hanmi ikkyo-ura. I have felt that these two, when done correctly both stretch and warm-up. So in the advanced class we sometimes do not do any stretching nor warming besides those two techniques. And if you're warmed up then you get started (and hot not warm:P) with hard kokyo-nage's.
Just my 2 eurocents...
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