Importance of a warm-up…

Posted: February 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

Going to dance practice in the winter is difficult.  It is kind of like trying to go to the gym in the winter; you first have to find the motivation to get all bundled up and travel to the destination.  Then once you arrive, your body is cold and your muscles are tight and you wish you were in snuggled in a warm bed instead.  It is days like this that remind me how important warming up your body is for any physical activity.  Some people think warming up means stretching; others think that it is about getting your blood pumping.  In reality, it is both.  A good warm-up warms your muscles up slowly with activities involving both stretching and contracting of the muscles.  The purpose of a warm-up is to get your body moving, begin raising your body temperature, stretch your muscles, move your joints, and get the energy pathways working so that the proper fuel is getting to your muscles. A proper warm-up will prepare your body for the activity, and will make the work feel easier than it would if you started out cold. When I dance, one way I accomplish a good warm-up is through a traditional ballet barre where all the parts of your body is stretched and gradually worked harder and harder.  This idea of a warm-up is an important idea to keep in mind especially when thinking about teaching any sort of physical activity to students.  Not only does warming up help to get the body ready to move (which prevents injuries), but I find it also allows the students to prepare mentally to begin to work.

Here is a video of a basic ballet barre.  This is the type of warm-up that I do every dance class.  It really helps to get your muscles and body ready for more strenuous activity.

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