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A warm up helps your body prepare itself before extensive exercise and dancing.

A thorough warm-up begins with exercises followed by more specific steps and combinations that progressively builds to cause sweating, however without becoming out of breath this includes general preliminary exercises such as jogging, jumping on the spot, skipping etc. As your body and muscles becomes warmer they become more flexible, this cuts down on muscle soreness after a dance class or performance and helps reduce and limit the risk of injuries. A warm up helps you to perform at your best whilst protecting your body and muscles.During warm-ups, blood flow increases to the muscles and decreases to the digestive organs. Constant or vigorous exercise in warm ups increases blood flow and transfers warmth to the skin. This occurs so the exercise can be extended for a longer period of time.

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After 30 minutes of no physical activity your body’s warmth will have completely be gone and you will need to warm up again. When you warm up, the volume of fluid and thickness of cartilage in the joints increases, which improves the joint’s ability to absorb shock and prevents and stops direct wear on the bones. Movement in the joint increases blood flow and raises the temperature, increasing elasticity in the joint’s supporting tissue. A proper warm up helps increase coordination and balance and further reinforces proper movement patterns.

A warm up should last about 15 minutes plus. During your warmup you must consider stretching, each stretch should last about 20-30 seconds except a nerve stretch which should be held for 10 seconds. Different types of warmupsArm CirclesTwist Your Upper BodyJumping JacksWalking SquatsJumping Rope JoggingSkippingDifferent types of stretchesDynamic (moving stretch)Static (holding stretch)PNF (hold and release)Ballistic (bouncing or pulsing stretch- this stretch may cause injuries and is advised not to do it)

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