CIRCULATION BOOST, WARM UP Physical component – 10 – 15 minutes
The warm up will consist of mobilising all the major joints, including ankles, knees, hips, spine, shoulders and wrists . We warm up the ribs, through the waist and neck to lubricate the joints and muscle groups before starting larger, more complex movement patterns. This can start in seated , coming into a standing position or remaining on the chair throughout the session.
Moving through stable positions in seated, you will need to explain the techniques and justification for all the movements. This is fun, interactive and it sits around a rehearsal for the main component. Did I mention fun? Often clients arrive agitated and anxious, so this is our opportunity to relax the participants and have some fun.
Raising the pulse is increasing the speed of blood flow around the body which in turn can create breathlessness and warmth. Use your emotional intelligence and watch, listen, look, speak and keep your eyes on your group.
Once warm we can move forward to mobilising the joints. This is not to be taken lightly. If we get the joints working well, then we are increasing our chances of better gains with the client and it prepares the body for the progressive movement patterns in the main component.
Preparation Stretches So important to prepare the body for the larger range of movements later in the seeion. Standing stretches can be a hindrance at first. Safer seated.
In the warm up phase, we are also addressing mental readiness for the activity session. Getting your client into the correct mindset. This takes longer than working with a younger person and usually takes 15 to 20 minutes.
- Posture checks
- Pulse raising
- Preparation stretches for the main component.
Standing and seated warm up exercises both start with a posture check.
Drop the shoulders down and backwards, pull the belly in and hip walk forwards in the chair towards the front third of the chair. Sit in a self supporting spine position, with feet hip width apart and feet underneath the knees. Try to encourage a regular breathing pattern throughout.
Start with a gentle march for about a minute and include the following, performing each movement about 4 to 6 times.
Lateral bends to alternate sides, keeping the head in line to mobilise the spine. Lean gently, sliding the hand down towards the floor in seated or along the thigh. in a standing position. Come back to the centre, pause and reset. Repeat to the other side.
Trunk Twist Standing or seated, cross the arms or place one hand on to the chair, keeping the hips and knees facing forward, turn the shoulders towards one side, taking the eye gaze in the same direction. Return to the centre, pause and repeat, rotating to the other side.
Come back to a march .
Ankle mobiliser In standing or in a seated position, with the feet hip distance apart, transferring the weight onto one leg, with the knee off lock. Begin to lift the other leg slightly and place the heel on the floor, lifting the toes upwards. Lift the knee slightly, place the toes onto the floor, pulling the heel upwards. Repeat and then change legs. Really try to get some movement through the ankle in this exercise. In seated, the feet are wide and the working leg is outstretched. Point the toes downwards, extending through the ankle then pull the foot upwards toward the knee into a flexed position.
Come back to a march.
Lower back In seated, with the hands on the thighs, moving the upper body in a D shape to one side, forwards and around, to the other side, and back to the centre. Change direction. In a standing position, working through hip rotation, moving the hips in a D shape to the side, towards the front and round to the other side. Alternate sides.
Return to a march.
Shoulder shrugs Lift the shoulders up towards the ears and slowly, with control, release the shoulders back down. Repeat, trying to relax the shoulders down a little more, each time.
Shoulder rolls Rolling the shoulders forwards, up towards the ears, back and down, relaxing the shoulder blades.
Come back to a gentle march.
Roll through the wrists in both directions, open and close the fingers into a fist and spread the fingers apart.
Come back to a gentle march.
Relax the shoulders and drop the head to one side and hold, keeping the eye gaze forwards. Bring the head to a neutral position and then drop the head to the other side. March for a few more seconds and breathe.
Neck Pull the head backwards slightly to lengthen through the back of the neck.