Must I warm up before a class?
YES! We know…you just want to get in and begin your class. We all do! The warm up can be boring and somewhat hard work (especially depending on which instructor you get ;). However, we can’t express how important it is to warm up before any type of Aerial Fitness class regardless of what apparatus you are using.
Although there are many reasons to warm up, the main one for Aerial artists is to avoid injury. Any form of Aerial requires you to lift your body weight and, generally speaking, it is not a common activity in any other parts of our lives. Therefore, we have to build the strength to lift and shift in certain positions. Whilst we are building this valuable muscle, it is essential to ‘wake up’ our muscles, tendons and increase our joint movement in preparation for the strength and flexibility that is required otherwise a cold muscle will more than likely pull under a lot of strain (as it will be tight). When we begin to move in the warm up, our core temperature rises and our body pumps more blood / oxygen to the muscles to make them limber and ‘awaken’ them. This is the reason we focus on the important muscle groups (i.e. Shoulders / back for lifts, legs for flexible moves etc!) as we rely on certain parts of the anatomy than others.
Another positive of warm ups is it increases performance. Have you ever gone for a run and felt weighty / sluggish for the first mile or so? Or done a particular move and then found it easier for the 4th, 5th, 6th time? This is because your body is still in the process of turning those muscles on. Completing a warm up prior to your focus activity will prepare your muscles for work and you will see results quick in your training.
Also, Warming up in the correct manner is also essential, many are under the impression that static stretching (the type where you hold a stretch for an extended period) is appropriate for a warm up….it isn’t. Usually, everyday life causes most people to sit for long periods in the same position, thus making certain body parts tight or unresponsive. If we try to lengthen a tight, cold muscle there is an extremely high risk of injury. We must gradually switch on and move the muscle to stimulate the blood flow thus enabling length and range of motion.
And finally…warming up prepares your mind to exercise. It is designed to get us in the mood to exercise, to pump some feel good / ‘can do’ endorphins around the system (one of the many reasons we don’t play slow songs…energy please!).
We are awake, we are alive and we can perform at our best!
Of course, all our instructors are well aware of the benefits of warming up and this will be implemented at every class. However, if you need some guidance or want a particular apparatus focused warm up. Head over to our Shop to purchase follow along videos which will give you the warm up you need! Don’t be tempted to jump straight on.