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How To Warm Up To Prevent Injuries

Warming up is essential for preventing injuries and getting the most out of your martial arts training. This how-to will guide you through a safe and effective warm up that can be used in conjunction with any other training regimen.


Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 15 minutes



1. Neck Rotations
Slowly rotate the neck from shoulder to shoulder in a circular motion. Repeat 10 times in each direction.


2. Shoulder Rotations
Slowly rotate or "shrug" your shoulders 10 times forward and 10 times backward.


3. Arm Circles
Extend the arms out to the side at shoulder level. Circle the arms forward and backwards 10 times using small circles. Then repeat using larger circles. Be sure not to drop the arms below chest level while circling.


4. Wrist Rotations
Rotate the wrists 10 times inward and 10 times outwards.


5. Waist Rotations
Bend deeply at the waist and rotate in a full circle. Be sure to rotate the waist as opposed to the hips. You should feel a stretch in the waist and lower back.


6. Knee Rotations
Place your hand on your thighs above your knees, not on the knees themselves. Rotate slowly and deeply 10 times each direction.


7. Ankle Rotations
Hold on to a wall or chair, lift your leg about 6 inches off the floor and rotate each ankle 10 times inward and 10 times outward.


8. Seated Stretch
Sit with your legs spread as wide apart as you feel comfortable. Lean out towards each leg, and the center. Remember to keep the back straight. A good way to remember this is to try to touch your chin to your knee or shin instead of your forehead to your thigh. Go down slowly and exhale, holding for at least 10 seconds each side. Remember not to bounce or move too quickly. Use smooth, slow movements.



Tips:


1. Remember to always move slowly and smoothly. Using quick, jerky movements increases your chances of injury and doesn't stretch you as effectively.
2. Always try to relax. Tensing up while stretching eliminates the effectiveness of the stretch.
3. Increase the number of repetitions as you progress.

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