i’move continues to celebrate men’s health month by getting advice from guys with great moustaches. Entry number two in this series is perhaps the most famous tv moustache of all time: Tom Selleck.
In a 2014 interview with GQ Magazine, Tom Selleck complained that his body would let him down at times when he had to do his own stunts on the set. Typically, he would spend a lot of time sitting around between takes and then would have to immediately get up and do something athletic like sliding across the hood of a Ferrari or tackling a bad guy. He realized that not taking the time for a proper warm up was the main cause of his aches and pains.
So here are a few components of a proper warm up that you can use before starting an activity.
- Your warm up should look like your activity. A weight lifter and a marathoner should warm up differently; they are using the same muscles, but they are using them in a very different way.
- Your warm up should be dynamic, not static. Numerous studies have shown that static stretching (sitting still and holding stretch for 30 seconds) can limit performance and possibly cause injury. Dynamic movements that take your joints through a full range of motion are much preferred. Save the static stretching for the end of your activity where it is still appropriate.
- Your warm up should get entire body moving. If you look at a runner, there is significant arm motion and rotation through the entire spine. Don’t just focus on the calves and hamstrings and assume you’re ready to go for a run.
- The goal of the warm up is to get the heart pumping to get the blood flowing and to wake up the joints and the nervous system. Don’t go so aggressively that you can’t talk to your running partner or sing along with Abba on your Spotify mix. If you’re going to go for a run, do a couple minutes of walking. If you’re going to do so lifting on a squat rack, go through a few reps with just the bar before adding weight.
I recall going to a Detroit Tigers game several years ago where before the game started, three Tigers were laying by 3rd base on their backs as they waited for the trainer to stretch out their hamstrings. While that may look like the way the 2018 Tigers performed (sorry, Tom), that’s not how baseball should look. Compare that to Curtis Granderson who was the center fielder at that time. His warm up was getting into the position of winding up to throw the ball into the infield and then doing various motions to get the spine and hips moving. Granderson was also a base stealer, and to prepare for this activity he would get into a small crouch, take a couple big steps to his right and then turn his hips and trunk to the right as if he was making a break for 2nd base.
Proper warm up practices deserve some of the credit for Curtis Granderson lasting 14 years in Major League Baseball, allowing him to function at a high level even at “advanced age” of 37.
And at the end of the workout, don’t forget about a cool down, unless you’re Tom Selleck who couldn’t possibly be any cooler.