Sunday, November 9, 2008

How to Get Mentally Primed and Physically Warmed-Up Before Your Next Competition

The New York Times had a recent article called Stretching: The Truth. The article basically says what we already know, that static stretching before a workout is not only a waste of time, but can be bad for you because it can actually weaken your leg muscles. It goes on to say that,

"THE RIGHT WARM-UP should do two things: loosen muscles and tendons to increase the range of motion of various joints, and literally warm up the body."

A good warm-up then would involve sports specific dynamic stretching. Terrence Mahon the coach of Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor is quoted as saying,

“You need range-of-motion exercises that activate all of the joints and connective tissue that will be needed for the task ahead.”
I have found something that would not only warm-up your muscles to get them race ready, but also to get your mind and spirits pumped up for the competition ahead of you.

Check out this video.

It is from before a rugby match where the Maori Haka goes up against the Aboriginal War Cry. I love the commentator at the end, "Well, that was better than Billy Idol."

Here is another video of New Zealand against Tonga.

And here is one more Haka Maori dance'

From Wikipedia:

"A haka is a traditional dance form of the Māori of New Zealand. It is a posture dance with shouted accompaniment, performed by a group... Various actions are employed in the course of a performance, including facial contortions such as showing the whites of the eyes and the poking out of the tongue, and a wide variety of vigorous body actions such as slapping the hands against the body and stamping of the feet. As well as chanted words, a variety of cries and grunts are used. Haka may be understood as a kind of symphony in which the different parts of the body represent many instruments. The hands, arms, legs, feet, voice, eyes, tongue and the body as a whole combine to express courage, annoyance, joy or other feelings relevant to the purpose of the occasion."

Now it that doesn't get you charged up. I don't know what will.

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