Ever notice the odd rituals that many professional athletes across all sports have in preparation for competition? One of the most well-known examples of a workout ritual is the picture above. The New Zealand Rugby Team (All Black’s) perform the ‘haka’ before a match as a way to pump up their time and intimidate their opponents. If you’ve never watched them perform the haka, check it out. It’s actually pretty interesting to watch and has a lot of history and meaning behind the ritual. You’ll also see this a lot in baseball as players step up to bat.
Do you ever incorporate a pre-/post- workout ritual during a sporting event or training practice? It’s not as uncommon as you think. On a lesser scale, a lot of people use workout rituals for psychological purposes and to prep them for the workout. Here are some benefits of creating a ritual for your fitness routine.
Is there something else behind this performance effect? A study published this month in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning seems to think there is. The researchers chose performance on vertical leap as a means of testing various preparation activities. What they found was very interesting.
The researchers looked at three different preparation strategies: a cycling warm-up, a dynamic stretching protocol, and heavy back squats. They looked at all three methods together and independently, and each improved both the performance of the vertical leap and also the activation of muscle tested by electromyography. The stretching and the squat improved vertical leap significantly more than the warm-up did all by itself.
- It helps get your head in the game. – MENTAL PREPARATION IS KEY.
- It utilizes muscle memory as you’re practicing the same techniques throughout the routine (especially for powerlifters).
- Repetition in training has a lot to do with your overall performance.
- It increases your mood. Just knowing that this ritual has helped you be successful in the past can put you in the right mood and mindset.
- Maybe your workout ritual is nutrition-related? If this is the case, skipping the ritual has a huge effect on your physical ability to perform at an optimal level.
Do you have a workout ritual? And if so, how does it help you prepare or recover?
Article written by GUADS staff member, Christina