Warming Up Your Joints
The joint warm-up routine should begin with joint-rotations for each of your major joints: Neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles. This facilitates joint motion by lubricating the entire joint with synovial fluid. Such lubrication permits your joints to function more easily when called upon to participate in your athletic activity. You should do 5-6 reps for each joint. *Important* It is good to push your body to its limits but it is important to not stretch your joints to a point of pain; stretching is supposed to be COMFORTABLE.
Your neck can move in 4 directions:
(1) Flexion – touch chin to sternum
(2)Extension – point chin as high as is comfortable
(3)Lateral bending – tilt head laterally bringing ear as close to shoulder as is comfortable
(4)Rotation – rotate head in a circle
There are five movements to warm up the shoulder joint.
1. extend your arms out from you sides at shoulder height and make small circles no bigger than a few inches.
2. With your arms at your side, make large circles with your arms as high above your head as you can do them comfortably. Don’t feel that you need to have your arms straight over your head at first. As your shoulder loosens, that may become easier for you.
3. Shoulder rotations, starting with your shoulders in a resting position and shrugging them forward or backward.
4. Adduction, which is bringing your arm across your body.
5. Abduction, which is simply bringing your arm away from your body.
The next series of motions warms up your elbow.
1. The first motion is elbow flexion, which is simply bringing you lower arm up to your biceps.
2. The opposite of the motion is elbow extension, which is straightening out your lower arm as much as it possibly can.
3. The third motion is elbow supination, which is turning your lower arm so that the palm of your hand faces up.
4. The last motion is pronation, which is turning your lower arm so that your palm faces down.
The next joint is probably the most important joint in your whole body. A lot of your daily routine is done using your hip in some way, so that is why it’s so important to warm it up.
1. Flexion – lifting your upper leg up as high as possible comfortably allowing your lower leg to hang.
2. Extension – holding your leg slightly in front of you and extending your leg as far as it can go.
3. Hyperextension – Taking your leg as far behind you as is comfortable. The important thing to remember for all these motions is that you should never push it to far so that it would hurt.
4. Adduction – Taking your leg across your body.
5. Abduction – which is taking your leg away from your body.
6. Rotation – lifting one leg off the ground and rotation it from the hip
The next series of three motions are for the knee. Your knee can only accomplish two movements.
1. Flexion – bend your knee toward your torso.
2. Extension – Bring your knee back so it is straight.
1. Flexion – bending your ankle so that you toes are pointed up.
2. Ankle extension – bending your ankle so that your toes are now facing down.
3. Pronation – turning your foot so your sole faces in.
4. Supination – turning your foot so that they sole faces out.