Warm Up for Your Performance: It's Worth It
As a performing artist, your body is your instrument. It's essential to take care of it so that you can perform at your best, night after night. Warming up before auditions, rehearsals, and shows is a vital part of your self-care routine, but one that is all too frequently written off, even by professionals.
Even if you're very familiar with your performance blocking and choreography, it's important to warm up before performing. Warm-ups help to:
Increase your blood flow and heart rate
Prepare your muscles for movement
Improve your flexibility and range of motion
Reduce your risk of injury
Focus your mind and body on the task at hand
Warming up is also a great opportunity to add some diversity to your movement routine. This can help to prevent repetitive stress injuries, which can occur from repeating the same movements over and over again.
Your warm-up should be customized to your individual needs. This means considering the specific demands of your performance, as well as any personal injuries or limitations. A good warm-up should include a variety of exercises, such as:
Cardio: This could include light jogging, jumping jacks, or dancing—anything that gets your blood moving for about 5 minutes.
Dynamic stretching: This type of stretching involves moving your muscles through a challenging but comfortable range of motion. Some examples include leg swings, arm circles, and torso twists.
Corrective exercises: These exercises are designed to target specific muscle imbalances or weaknesses. For example, if you have tight hamstrings, you might do some hamstring stretches or quadriceps strengthening.
Specific activities: If you're performing a show that includes singing, you should include some vocal warm-ups in your routine. If you have some tricky choreography, practice sequences slowly in your warm-up.
Warming up is especially important for performing artists who travel frequently or perform in different environments. Long hours of travel and shifting performance conditions can put extra stress on your body and voice. By continuing to properly prepare your voice and body for performance, you can help to stay feeling your best.
The more resilience you build, the longer you can have a happy and healthy performing career. So make sure to warm up before every performance, even if you're very familiar with your show. It's worth the investment in your long-term health and well-being.
Additional tips for performing artists warming up:
Listen to your body and take breaks when needed.
Don't push yourself too hard, especially if you're feeling pain.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that allow for full range of motion.
Find a warm-up routine that works for you and stick to it.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your warm-up is effective and safe.