Warm Up & Get fit the right way

6th December 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Healthy Living

Let’s get fit

Injuries are presented to the clinic for many reasons sometimes from very experienced s  and also exercise newbie’s, ie  getting fit for the summer or a holiday, looking to lose weight, your doctor or osteopath are recommended it, your friend does it and you want to go for the social side.  If you are thinking of taking up a sport then here are a few tips to keep you moving and enjoying your activity.



1.Warm up.

The action of warming up is to prepare the body for action, this will include you cardiovasculature system (heart and circulation) your respiratory rate and most importantly muscles and joints.

Remember what’s its like to wake up sometimes feeling achey and stiff! You wouldn’t jump into a full sprint then but you know as you warm up and  move your body things get easier more comfortable.  Scientific evidence varies on warming up but listen to your body, logical reasoning and personal experience, top athletes  warm up for a reason following a coach or sports trainer.

Warm ups are usually geared up to you activity/sport initially working the whole body then a more sports specific routine or exercise.

A good warm up helps reduce the risks to your body.

2.  Poor technique and actions

Learn your sport, I see this so much at the Judo club where I do some of the coaching, it’s not enough to turn up and do it, as this is definitely a common way to get injured particularly beginners.

Bad technique or incorrect movement can damage, tear or pull muscles or stress joints.

Exercise should be balanced and cover the basics such as mobility, flexibility and strength.

Cross training can help address imbalances and having a personal trainer can be a enormous help in keeping you on track and helping reduce the risk of injury

Performing consistently poor exercise techniques can develop muscle imbalances, which can lead to altered postural patterns leading a sure way to aches and pain such as back pain, knee pain.

I think the most important advice for any beginner is get help from someone and  personal trainers should be a priority, this is what they do. PT’s as they are commonly know are not just for WAG’s and the wealthy they are for people who want structure, goals and take their fitness serious, if you want to do it for life start right.

If you would rather not take this route then at least try not to jump head first into new exercises, watch video demonstrations on YouTube and fitness blogs or read up on the instructions and prerequisites to ensure proper technique.

If you attend any classes then get to know your instructor/coach and they get to know you, discuss your worries/fears and aspirations.


Applying continuous stress on the body without giving yourself adequate time to recover can put you at a high risk of long term injury.

When it comes to improving your fitness levels or blasting through plateaus, less can be so much more.

The body needs time to recover and rebuild with adequate nutrition, rest and sleep.

Overtraining will drain your energy and in such a depleted, tired and weakened state, is it any wonder why or how an injury is likely to occur?

A good example is running, a common pastime that can be a great stress buster with only minimum kit required, a sample plan to start running could be;

What are your objectives and what do you need from your exercise

Do you want to workout alone or with a group, pick a sport/activity you enjoy/join a club or team

What equipment/training kit do you need

Write your goals down, make them measurable

Put a plan in place with a gradual increase in action/level, use a personal trainer/coach or train with experienced people.


Flexibility is one of the most overlooked components of training and exercise programs.

A lack of flexibility can significantly reduce your range of motion and create imbalances around your body increasing the risk of injury.

Back pain, hamstring, calf and groin strains are the most common injuries when flexibility is neglected.


Unfortunately some of us may be more at risk of injury because of the way our joints are structured, shaped and developed based upon our genetics.

Thank your parents, grandparents and great grandparents for this if you are susceptible to injury even when maintaining good exercise and fitness practice.

However you can use this to the advantage of the sport, If your tall and lean you make make a better basketball player than Judo player, if your naturally heavy set and bulky weight training would be good but climbing or basketball maynot be the best option. The thin to realise is do what you enjoy and work to your physical capabilities.


Injury often occurs when we choose to wear inappropriate training kit and clothing such as poor footwear or restrictive clothing.

This means your body may not be adequately supported or protected to safely perform the activity at hand, increasing the chance of injury.


Lifting to much weight or performing more exercise than is necessary or beyond current capabilities often leads to injury.

Too much weight or exercise load can mean the sacrifice of technique and a loss of control in the movements being performed.

As cool as it might be if we could, we just cannot defy gravity no matter how much we try.  If you have lifted a weight and it is too heavy, it will come whizzing back down and injure anyone in its way – most likely you.

Taking it one step at a time and staying within our bio-mechanical limits will keep us safe and allow us to progress quickly and safely.

Stay safe.

Francis Connor Manchester Osteopaths