I’ve been working out 2-3 times weekly for the past 3 months at Orchard Central’s Zesty Kickz (Recognize Studios), doing mainly circuit trainings, Kickboxing and Zumba. It had more or less become a habit for me to go for the classes, and now it’s a lifestyle. My initial aim was to slim down and tone up, but as time goes by, I realized the change of lifestyle has also increased my metabolism rate, my stamina and also strengthened my immune system. I can get up early for classes and last the whole day without falling sick, I am happier now (sometimes for no reason) and also sleep better. These are actually the positive effects that comes together with exercising.
Vinz Low from Zesty Kickz: Common Mistakes in Your Warm Up Exercises
Vinz, owner of Zesty Kickz, is also the instructor for my (favourite) Shape N Tone circuit training class, as well as Kickboxing. During the classes with him, he had been correcting me (repeatedly) some moves and positions I did wrongly during my warm up and cool-down exercises. I noticed these are common mistakes many other members commit too. I had a sudden stroke of genius and decided to ask Vinz to show me some of the common mistakes many people commit when doing their warm up exercises so that I can share with you!
1. Head Rotation
You Should NOT: hunch when doing the rotation.
Many tend to forget to stand or sit up straight as they’ve spent long hours with rounded shoulders or hunched in front of their computer. When you do the exercise (in fact any exercise) with a hunchback or rounded shoulders, it might worsen neck, should and back pain instead of relieving it. Hunched position tightens chest muscles and weaken the upper back muscles.
You Should: stand or sit in an erect and upright posture. Turn your head only as far as you comfortably can. If you feel tightness or compression, stop and hold that position for a few seconds and then slowly come back to the neutral position. Keep your jaw relaxed while your head is tilted back. Repeat the rotation for 3-5 times.
2. Arm Stretch
Not only does it increase flexibility, range of motion and circulation, a simple shoulder and arm exercise can help release tension in arms, shoulders and even prevent carpal tunnel. Arm stretches also reduce strain, injury and soreness after a workout.
You Should: Stand straight and straighten your arm when bringing your arm across your chest. Breathe normally even when you feel your shoulder being stretched. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch sides. When done, relax your arms and hang them loosely at your sides for 10 seconds.
3. Calf Stretch
Calf stretches open the tight network of lower leg muscles that sometimes seize up after overuse or other underlying factors. You may forget to give attention to this area when stretching, concentrating instead on the larger muscle groups like the thigh, hamstring and buttocks.
You Should NOT: lift your heel as you won’t be able to stretch the calf muscle fully. Also, you often hear the “right angle rule” for knee bends, when the knee bend exceeds the 90 degree angle, it will strain your knee-joint or even cause “Runner’s Knee” in the long run.
You Should: keep your body upright, put one leg behind and extend it without bending the knee. Keep both heels grounded. Bend your front leg until you feel tension in the calf muscle of your rear leg. Make sure your hand is not touching your front leg and the front knee is bend at 90 degree. Hold there for a few seconds and change sides.
4. Table Top
You Should: keep both legs straight while doing this exercise. Raise your both hands straight above head and bend forward slowly to 90 degree. Keep your back straight when bending (pretend you’re a table top!) and feel the stretch in your back and thighs.
5. Hamstring Stretch
The hamstring stretch not only stretches your hamstring (duh), increase your range of motion and also make you smarter! You heard me right, this pose increases the blood flow to the brain, which (supposedly) stimulate intelligence. But often, many people has done it wrongly (at the very last part) without knowing!
You Should: follow natural spine mobility and slowly come up vertebrae by vertebrae and lift your neck to the last.
Here’s some reminders to take note when doing your warm ups.
1. Do not bounce when you stretch, it is not effective and may even lead to injury
2. Perform the exercises slowly to prevent injuries.
3. Hold Time: Work up to holding each stretch for 20 seconds or more.
4. Set Count: 3-5 sets of holding a stretch, per leg.
5. Remember to breathe: Inhale through your nose slowly and exhale out your mouth during each stretch.
Above is the promotion Zesty Kickz is offering my readers, and if you wish to come for free trial lesson, I can bring one person with me every time, I go for lessons every Monday (Shape N Tone 6.45pm + Kickboxing 7.15pm), Wednesday (Shape N Tone 6pm + Kickboxing 6.30pm + Zumba 7.30pm) and Saturday (Shape N Tone 12.15pm). If you are interested to join me and try out the lesson, feel free to leave a comment below with a working email so that I can contact you!