I am so sick of not seeing more trainers and people put this in to action. Movement preparation is one of the most import steps in taking strides to a healthier and better moving body. What movement preparation is not; 1. Warming up on a treadmill 2. Using external weights for pre-exercise movements 3. A quick jog 4. Quick and easy
Have you ever showed up early to a professional baseball, football, or soccer game and seen the athletes going through their stretches and conditioning drills? You are watching movement prep. Notice the focus; most of these guys have their ipods in and are mentally and physically prepare themselves, they are not jumping around like idiots, they are focusing on allowing their bodies to move freely so they can play at 100%.
Movement preparation is simply taking your body, with no external weight added, through movements that may be used during your workout. You should use the three planes of motion to create kinetic awareness and proper muscle activation and recruitment.
To paint a picture and understanding of what I mean, picture this: It’s leg day and you want to begin your workout with some movement preparation. One exercise you may see often is a forward or rear lunge with a simple torso rotation toward the knee that is in front of you. The key here is to maintain balance and stability during this movement.
As mentioned above, movement prep is not quick and easy. This is the most important part of your workout because of the use of the motor skills involved. While performing the lunge with rotation one must use spatial awareness, balance, stability, coordination, and strength. It is not a quick exercise and takes more time to do properly than you may think. Most people believe this is a simple and fast movement, and are often times seen falling over while trying to attempt it.
Professional athletes warm up before games and practice because without those conditioning drills and stretches they are more likely to injure themselves. Injury often means no playing time, and a lack of playing time often means no paycheck. Take it from the professionals - practice movement prep, it really is that important.
Stay Competitive. Have Fun.