Warm-Up Guidelines Print
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 23 January 2009 03:18
The warm-up prepares our bodies both physically and mentally for Dragon Boat paddling.

A Warm-Up Leader motivates and gets the Team "mentally up" for each practice or race. The Leader can do this by encouraging the Team to participate in cheering each other during the warm up. All positive vocalizations are therefore encouraged! Clapping is also encouraged! The Warm-Up Leader asks the Paddlers how they are feeling and asks them to reply with a resounding cheer, e.g., "We're great!"; "We're strong!"; and "We're ready to paddle!"

Physically, it is important to warm up and lubricate the joints and muscles before paddling. Allow approximately 10-15 minutes for the warm up.

Starting with movement, e.g., marching on the spot, walking step-touching or grapevine, alternately move the arms in varying directions. Rotate the shoulders, press, shrug, circle, and any movement to get the blood flowing!

Encourage lots of breathing, getting oxygen to all the extremities. Continue with varying movements of the arms while doing leg lifts, leg curls, etc.

When doing any routine, e.g., leg lifts with overhead press, do in sets of 8 and countdown "4,3,2,1" when changing from one movement to another. It is easier for your teammates to follow, and they will soon learn when you are planning to change your routine or when coming to the end of a routine.

Your team will not only look good on the water, but will look good during the warm-up as well! Remember - this should be FUN! Don't forget also to have "FUN" music with a strong beat!

It is important to stretch following movement. Shoulder, arms, wrists, back and chest should all be stretched. This can be done while stretching the lower limbs - quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. Hold each stretch for 10-15 seconds.

After the warm-up, it would be best to start the practice or race before "cooling down", although this cannot always happen. If possible, try to keep the Team limber by encouraging movement on the spot.

It would also be ideal if there could be a cool down and slow stretch following the practice or race. Rather than the Team disbanding and each Paddler going her "own way", the Coach might ask the Team to meet in a convenient spot for 5 minutes.

This post-exercise cool-down and stretch could also be done before or following the "critiquing" after a race.