In this article we're going to outline some cold weather warm up considerations that could be the difference between a great session or an unnecessary injury. As the conditions change, our bodies response to exercise does too. With a little knowledge of physiology we can adjust our warmups in response to what we're about to put our bodies through.
What Happens to Our Bodies in the Cold?
As the temperature drops, our blood vessels contract, reducing the blood flow to our extremities. This process is known as vasoconstriction and is the reason that our hands and feet are vulnerable to the cold. More of the blood is diverted to your body's core for the vital organs, leaving the extremities colder and less mobile.
Our joints suffer at the expense of vasoconstriction also. Our connective tissues such as ligaments and tendons have a relatively poor blood supply of their own, receiving most of their blood flow osmotically. This means as a joint is moved, they receive blood thanks to an increase of blood in the general area.
If there is a low blood flow in an area due to vasoconstriction the joint becomes less supple and more susceptible to injury.
Synovial Fluid and Joint Impacts
Our joints contain a substance known as synovial fluid. This has a number of roles – lubrication of the joint surfaces being one. In the cold weather though, the synovial fluid changes. According to joint surgeon Dr Benjamin Domb …
"In cold weather the synovial fluid which acts as a shock absorber within the joint may become more viscous and not flow freely resulting in stiff and creaking joints".
Essentially this means that in order to improve the mobility, lubrication and shock absorption properties of our joints, we absolutely have to focus on getting the joints warm before we can progress on to our actual swings. With muscle groups used in golf being body-wide, we need all the help we can get to prevent injury if we want to continue pain-free golfing in the long term.
Getting Warm Pre-Session
It's particularly helpful if we can prepare our bodies before actually warming up. We do this by improving blood flow to the muscles and joints ahead of time. The question is though, how do we promote blood flow to an area before embarking on an actual ‘warm up'?
Well the best place to start is with some KYMIRA Clothing. Our infrared clothing promotes localised blood flow, so by simply wearing our KNergy fabric on your skin you are already passively increasing your blood flow.
A pair of running leggings and compression socks can help significantly with the pre-warm up blood flow.
Joint Mobility before a cold course
With KYMIRA Golf gear on, your body is able to perform its usual actions far more efficiently. Making the most of this extra blood flow and warmth you can follow the KYMRIA Sport mobility warm-up and retain the energy and heat it provides.
Calf Raises: Start with your feet flat on the floor and raise your heels to stand on your tip toes. Slowly lower yourself back down. Repeat this for 4 sets of 15 reps.
Air Squats: Put your hands out in front and perform a full squat, making sure your thighs break parallel. Repeat this for 4 sets of 15 reps.
Hip Rotations: Rotate your hips around in large circles. Perform the first 10 in a clockwise motion, the next 10 anti-clockwise. Repeat for 2 sets of 20.
Jump Squats: Perform a dynamic jump squat. Drop to below parallel, then explode up. Repeat for 3 sets of 10.
Plyometric Lunges: Assume a lunge position, then dynamically jump into a lunge on the opposite side. Repeat for 2 sets of 10.
Our mission at KYMIRA Golf is to keep as many golfers as possible out enjoying the sport for as much of the year as possible and this work-out, with KYMIRA gear holding the benefits for you, is a key way of staying out in the colder months.