This week, I take you through the best warm-up for kettlebell sport.
The basic structure of a warm-up, supported by the literature, is as follows:
- Submaximal intensity aerobic activity
- Dynamic stretching (large amplitude)
- Sport specific activities
Each has a specific purpose:
- Increase body and muscle temperature –> this helps to increase muscle metabolism, muscle fiber performance, and muscle fiber conduction velocity
- Post-activation potentiation (briefly stated, the process by which previous muscle contractions leads to subsequent facilitated contractions)
- Rehearsal, getting in the zone
BUT WHAT ABOUT RANGE OF MOTION?!?
Ah yes. Dynamic stretching has in fact been show to increase range of motion. BUT, the studies that have investigated this have not looked much past 10 minutes. It’s very feasible that the range gained can last more than 10 minutes, but the literature hasn’t looked at that.
Static Stretching, however, has in fact been show to increase range of motion for up to 2 hours! This is great news for kettlebell sport athletes, since we may have a bit of a weight in between flights.
However, there is a negative connotation with performing static stretching prior to a workout, mainly because of something called Stretch-Induced Performance Decrements. Meaning, static stretching will force your muscles not to perform as well.
Well, sure. BUT!
There’s some evidence to show that if you perform a set of dynamic stretching AFTER your static stretching, you can CANCEL OUT the performance decrements, while keeping all the range of motion!
This super cool.
Another fun fact
To help “exploit” (is that the right word to use? Meh) post-activation potentiation to its fullest, I tend to perform a few exercises to help “prime” certain areas – namely, gluteus medius and maximus, and abdominals. WHY? These areas are key areas that I want to make sure are working efficiently for my subsequent performance. See the video below to see how I do it.
You should not have to rely on your warm-up to gain the range of motion necessary in order to perform your sport correctly. IDEALLY, you should be performing you mobility work DAILY (yes, DAILY!) so that you don’t need to rely on static stretching as part of your warm-up!
The anatomy of an ideal warm-up
- Submaximal Intensity Aerobic Activity
- Muscle Priming
- (Static Stretching –> Only if you need it!)
- Dynamic Stretching (Large Amplitude)
- Sport Specific Activities
That’s pretty much it
In the video below, I also take you through my warm-up. Please keep in mind that this is just an example! The goal was to lay out the foundation of what the structure of an ideal warm-up. What you perform within the categories is up to you 🙂
Thanks for your attention!