Many of you are avid gardeners and some of you do it because it is part of your household chores. Either way it is a good idea to start to practice a basic warm-up before you start lifting, digging and bending over.
Here is a basic warm-up series I presented to the Collingwood Gardening Club last month. I hope you find it helpful and can start to add it to your gardening practice.
The purpose of the warm-up prior to doing any gardening is to increase blood flow to the muscles you are about to use and to prime or prep them for the necessary movements involved in your upcoming tasks. You will want to spend about 5-10 minutes warming up.
- March in place – do about 20 marching steps, with big high knees and swing your arms.
- Walk laps around your yard/garden, continue to march if you like.
- Make several trips to get out your gardening tools/supplies one at a time.
10 Squats – set your feet just outside your shoulders, send you hips back as though you were about to sit in a chair behind you, then lower your hips down as low as you feel comfortable. Keep you chest up, your knees out and your shins as vertical as possible.
10 Alternate Leg Lunges – step back with one foot. Keep the front knee at a 90 degree angle as you lower you back knee toward the ground as far as you feel comfortable. Keep your torso upright.
10 Shoulder Rolls – forward and back
10 Arm Circles – forward and back
Banded Shoulder Series – use a Theraband:
Pull a-parts – standing tall, hold the Theraband with straight arms extended directly in front of your shoulders, pull your arms apart until the band touches your chest. Perform 10 repetitions.
External Rotations – tuck your elbows firmly into your side (by your rib cage), holding the Theraband in each hand with arms bent at 45 degrees in front of you with palms facing up, pull the band apart by rotating your hands and forearms out to the side (keep you elbows tucked at your side the whole time). Perform 10 repetitions
Lateral Raises – stand with one foot on the end of the Theraband and hold the other end with the same arm positioned at a 35 degree angle from the side of your body, keep your arm straight and raise it as high as you can. Perform 10 repetitions.