Mountain bikers, want to have a "leg up" on your riding buddies every time you ride with them? How about being fully prepared to ride 100% every time you line up in a gate? Then I suggest not making the one mistake that most amateurs make most every time they ride; skipping out on a pre-ride or in-ride warm up!
Watch and use this important performance tool every time you ride to optimize your ability on your bike!
Look, I know how easy it is when everyone shows up at the parking lot and the priority becomes goofing around with your friends, unpacking your bike, checking the air in the tires, lubing the chain and general shenanigans...
You made sure your bike is ready, but what about addressing the needs of your "horsepower" that will power your rowdy steaz?
Here is some simple information, along with the "how-to-video" at the bottom, that will help you take back that "un-tapped performance potential" you may be leaving in the parking lot.First- there are a few types of warm-ups:
• Passive: increase temperature by external means like a hot tub or sauna
• General: increase temperature using non-specific body movements
• Specific: increase temperature using similar biomechanics used in subsequent, more strenuous activity.Second- there are also various forms of warming up, like:
• Stretching types, like static (holding a stretch0, ballistic (bouncing during stretching) and dynamic (PNF- a contract and relax type of stretching)
• Mobility work with a foam roller, lacrosse ball or stick
• Assisted stretching or forced stretching
• Stationary biking
• Movement based, integrative mobility and stretching work
• Rehearsal of sports specific movement(s)Third- Important warm-up benefits include:
• Elevation of body temperature- The temperature increases within muscles that are used during a warm up routine. A warmed muscle both contracts more forcefully and relaxes more quickly. In this way both speed and strength can be enhanced. Also, the probability of overstretching a muscle and causing injury is far less.
• Improve Efficient Cooling - By activating the heat-dissipation mechanisms in the body (efficient sweating) an athlete can cool efficiently and help prevent overheating early in the event or race.
• Increased Blood Temperature - The temperature of blood increases as it travels through the muscles, and as blood temperature rises, the amount of oxygen it can hold becomes reduced. This means a slightly greater volume of oxygen is made available to the working muscles, enhancing endurance and performance.
• Improved Range of Motion - The range of motion around a joint is increased.
• Hormonal Changes - Your body increases its production of various hormones responsible for regulating energy production. During warm up this balance of hormones makes more carbohydrates and fatty acids available for energy production.
• Mental Preparation - The warm up is also a good time to mentally prepare for an event by clearing the mind, increasing focus, reviewing skills and strategy. Positive imagery can also relax the athlete and build concentration.
• Increase dissociation of oxygen from hemoglobin and myoglobin
• Lowering of activation energy rates of metabolic chemical reaction
• Increase muscle blood flow- This reduces the resistance to blood flow and lower stress on the heart.
• Reduction in muscle viscosity
• Increase sensitivity of nerve receptors
• Increase speed of nervous impulses
• Reduces incidence and likelihood of musculoskeletal injuries
• Supplies adequate blood flow to heart
• Warm up of two minutes prior to sudden exertion can decrease relative myocardial hypoxia and decreased blood pressure during exercise.
• LASTLY! HELPS AID IN RECOVERY FOR MULTI-STAGE-DAY EVENTS like enduro races.
(Banard RJ, et al. (1973). Cardiovascular responses to sudden strenuous exercise - heart rate, blood pressure, and ECG. J Appl Physiology. 34:833.)
(Shellock, FG & Prentice, WE (1985). Warming-Up and Stretching for Improved Physical Performance and Prevention of Sports-Related Injuries, Sports
Medicine, 2: 267-278.)
(Funky Mr. Roboto lumbar spine move, created by Dr. Guy VOYER D.O.)
So look, in the end, you should find out exactly what works for you regarding your warm up, but check out the video for some good direction so you feel like you are ready to perform, right out of the gate!
Coach Dee Tidwell is the owner of www.enduromtbtraining.com, a mtb training website that provides riders and racers with training programs and personal coaching. Dee is also a successful 40+ Big Mountain Enduro champ, multiple race winner and trainer and soft tissue specialist for Yeti Cycles. Get more info at www.enduromtbtraining.com