BY OLIVIA COFFEY
PHOTO BY ED MORAN
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While I haven’t always been the biggest fan of warm-ups, as many of my teammates can attest, as I get older, I find them more and more beneficial. The land warm-up is something I’ve come to rely on to prepare my body to perform the rowing motion comfortably.
Unlike a pre-race warm-up, a land warm-up is gradual and low intensity. The purpose of the land warm-up is to wake up the body and ready it for exercise. It helps you identify problem areas and can assist with preventing injury.
After trying hundreds of different warm-up exercises throughout my career, I’ve settled on the routine below, and it has been my go-to land warm-up for close to seven years. I do this routine once a day before every rowing activity, from easy practices to world championship finals. Having a solid routine gives me the confidence to perform and settles my mind before important races.
This land warm-up works well for my body and focuses on opening the hips and loosening the low back, but everyone is different. Take time to figure out what exercises work well for you and make sure every movement is deliberate and pain-free.
While not everyone will have the time to complete a warm-up like the one I’ve described, every little bit helps. Even if it’s just a few movements before you hop in a boat, make sure that you’re giving your body a little extra attention before you ask it to perform.
1 – 10 minutes of easy cardio. The goal is to get the body moving, start sweating, and make sure all the muscles are warm before stretching.
2 – 10 reverse lunges each side with an upper-body twist
3 – Five pushups
4 – Downward dog/cobra x three
5 – Child’s pose, 10 seconds each side x two
6 – Five pushups
7 – Figure-4 stretch, 30 seconds each leg x three
8 – Deep lunge, 20 seconds each leg x three
9 – Hip flexor stretch, 20 seconds each leg x three, with overhead reach
10 – Hip bridge x 10
11 – Windshield wipers x three each side
12 – Side-lying thoracic rotation x 10 each side
13 – Foam roll any body part that needs attention.