Winter Warm-Ups 2013

Though winter brings the marching activity indoors, many groups still need to warm up outside. Stay warm while warming up.

With the cold chill breathing down our necks during wintertime, warming up outside before your rehearsal or performance has its challenges, but here are some ways to make it a little more bearable.

Drink Tea

Iced beverages might sound great in the summer, but try sticking to lukewarm water during rehearsals. Start your day with a cup of tea; I suggest ginger, which is a naturally warming spice.

Dress Right

Wear layers, so that as you begin to heat up, you can remove some of your clothing; once you are done with your warm-up or rehearsal, remember to layer back up to keep the internal warmth that you just generated.

Know Your Body

Be careful not to go as deep as quickly as you might normally since the body is more sensitive because of the constant temperature change it has to endure during this season. The body is also more brittle. Does your skin dry out and crack during the winter months? Do your bones and muscles feel creaky once the first frost has arrived?

Pay special attention to shoulders, knees and ankles. These joints can be a little more sensitive during the winter, especially if they’ve been broken and sprained previously. Have you ever heard someone tell you that he always knows when it is going to rain because of the knee he broke years ago? The weather (changes in barometric pressure) takes its toll on the body.

When I was dancing, I always wore a leg warmer on my right leg, not because I was trying to make a ridiculous fashion statement, but because my right ankle needed more heat during warm-ups. Think about differences in the sides of your body.

Go Slow and Steady

Once any injuries or problem areas are addressed, take a slow two- to three-minute jog. You should be able to carry on a light conversation and breathe evenly. Keeping a moderate pace throughout your winter warm-up is important.

After your jog, take 10 walking lunges going forward. Be sure to take as much time getting out of the lunge as you took to get into it. Evenness is the key when warming up outside when it’s cold. Once you have completed one length of lunges, go into squats. Repeat five to 10 times and then take your walking lunges back the other direction.

Take another light jog to maintain your warmth, then walk for one to two minutes. Next move into abdominal work. You should feel adequately warmed up for rehearsal, but if you need a little more warmth, go for 10 jumping jacks. Stay warm!

About the Author

After dancing since the age of 3, Haley Greenwald-Gonella thought it was time to try a new art. In elementary school, she began playing the flute and was in the marching band in middle school and for the first two years of high school. She also played the bassoon during concert season. Dance drew Haley back while in high school.

She graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with degrees in dance and English. She recently graduated from the University of Southern California with a master’s degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts).

Haley is also a certified registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance. She draws upon her dance and yoga training when it comes to all things fitness and the arts.