Best practice dictates that any training session should start with a warm-up.
The reasons for this are many. A warm-up not only prepares the athlete for the activity to come – but the physiological effect and body’s production of adrenalin, increases the heart rate and dilates capillaries, it also increases the temperature of the body as a whole.
This increase in body temperature results in increased elasticity of the muscles- thereby reducing the potential incidence of injury.
The warm-up has several positive functions. In summary the functions of a warm up are as follows:
- Avoidance / minimization of injury,
- Improving performance, through body and mental preparedness.
- Increasing flexibility and elasticity
- Familiarization of the Ergometer and its exercise action
A pre-warm-up can be undertaken prior to getting onto the Ergometer- with the goal to gently raise the heart rate, ready for activity. This can be achieved through gentle jogging, perhaps some interactive ball games, skipping.
The pre-Warm- up should be carried out for about approx. 5 minutes, followed by some gentle stretching exercises.
Stretches should be all-over stretches, taking care to stretch muscles throughout the whole body not just the arms!….This can then be transitioned to some kayak specific warm-up activity on the Ergometer.
It is important to remember that the more intense the training or event activity, the longer the time that should be taken for warm-up.
Once on the Ergometer the kayak specific the warm-up – could consist of say 3- 4 minutes of gentle paddling at low intensity and then transitioning to say 30 strokes, 40 strokes and 50 stokes [counting each side] of progressively increasing intensity “surges”, These surges can be followed by a gentle free-wheeling period of say 2 minutes gentle paddling between each increase in frequency. [surge]. This can be repeated several times in order to achieve the level of warm up that is desired by the athlete.
Total Ergometer warm up time should be approx.15 minutes.