Warm Up for Water Sports
Lately I have been blogging about different fitness activities on the water such as stand up paddle boarding and dragon boating. I intend to discuss other fitness activities such as kayaking and rowing but I will sidetrack now to discuss how to warm up for these activities.
A few blogs ago, I talked about a dynamic warm up in my blog called “Stretching – Part One” (https://www.andregordonfitness.com/blog/zcjrsf64zhgrbsm5ma6z4p36ktmppf). Succinctly put the benefits of a dynamic warm up are: to elevate your heart rate, to increase core temperature, to enhance blood flow to the muscles, to enhance mobility and to prevent injury. For this blog, I am going to give you exercises to do all of that for the main muscles involved in water sports but I am also going to specifically talk about rolling your shoulder muscles to improve your mobility.
Rolling has become the way to loosen up tight tissue and the research does support that it provides an increased range of motion for a short time. For the shoulder I am going to suggest using a yoga tune up ball (www.tuneupfitness.com) Below I have posted a picture of the shoulder muscles on the posterior aspect of the shoulder blade along with the upper fibres of the trapezius.
Rolling the upper fibres of the trapezius, the levator scapulae muscle as it inserts into the scapula and the supraspinatous and the infraspinatous are all important to roll. To do this, basically put the tune up ball behind one shoulder and lean against it while it is against the wall. Find the really tender areas and roll back and forth for 30-60 seconds on each spot. Now do the other shoulder.
It is incredible how the rolling really loosens up what is tight. From there do the following exercises (1-2 minutes each) to complete your dynamic warm up:
1. Arm circles – raise your arms out to the side, gently do small arm circles one way and then the other and slowly increase the size of the circles.
2. Arm swings – Cross your arms like you are hugging yourself and then open your arms wide like you are going to hug someone else.
3. Trunk rotations – With your arms hanging at your sides, gently twist the upper body from side to side
4. Punching – punch an imaginary bag, rotating through the trunk as you punch.
That’s it, time to hit the water!