1 Factor You Have to do Earlier than Any VR Exercise
VR technology might start right away, but if you try to do the same to your body you are not at your best and you are just one step away from injury. When it comes to warming up, the body takes time and it has to do a few essential things to perform at its peak. Here’s why you need to warm up before VR training, and how best to do it.
Technology has advanced incredibly quickly, much faster than your body. Buckling up a headset and disappearing into a virtual world only takes seconds. The preparation for the training takes a few seconds longer. To make this clear, compare your body to the dial-up internet. You know the internet that is using your phone line and causing this horrible screeching? Compare it even better to the old fashioned Telegram because the body has hardly changed in thousands of years compared to technology. The body was constantly moving because of our hunter-gatherer lifestyle, so of course we were ready to take action. The advent of the desk chair now keeps your body folded like a laptop for most of the day. When you bend over, your hips and shoulders become chronically tight, which limits your ability to move around and increases the risk of injury.
VR Warm Up Step 1: Active routes
The solution is to stretch. How you stretch is very important. Active stretching is required to prepare your body for movement and get it supple and ready to morph into any VR world. An active stretch just means that you are doing a stretch that involves moving rather than holding a position. For example, holding on to a wall and swinging your leg is an active stretch. Bending over and trying to touch your toes is not like that. Swinging your arms in circles or around your body like Michael Phelps are active stretches. Raise your elbow above your head and don’t hold it. You have the idea. As unpredictable as VR games are, warm-up exercises are much more calculated. Here is a quick warm up to prepare your body to move through levels and blast your way in your VR game:
- Forward and backward leg swing, 30 seconds per side
- Side-to-side leg vibrations, 30 seconds per side
- Arm circles, 30 seconds
- Alternating lunge with reach, 45 seconds
- Squat and Reach, 30 seconds
VR Warm Up Step 2: Low intensity movements
By now we all know we have to run before we run, but the rule for jumping is different: squats before you jump. After the active stretches, the body is ready to move, but not ready to jump around with full force. If you’ve played VR games, you know that you’re guaranteed to be moving, hopping, jumping, pumping, and crouching fast. These are all great ways to get your heart rate up without even realizing it. They are also ways of injuring yourself unless you are prepared for these movements. For the next part of your warm up, you’ll want to try to mimic the movements in the game, but at a lower intensity or a slower pace. It’s the same idea as exercising in the gym. You do a few sets of light weight before using the heavy weight. Follow these quick active movements to strengthen your body:
- Body weight squats, 10 reps
- Alternating lunges, 10 repetitions per side
- Side lunges, 10 repetitions per side
- Jumping Jacks, 30 seconds
VR Warm Up Step 3: Conquer your VR world
That’s all there is to it. A few active stretches and bodyweight exercises are all you need to prepare your body for the VR workout you are lining up for before starting your HMD. Don’t be surprised if you perform better in your VR games because you will. Warming up not only improves your VR performance, but also prepares your body to move dynamically. Preparation is key to preventing injuries such as muscle pulling that could affect your VR experience. Take 5 minutes to warm up and then conquer your VR world!
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