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WARM UP – How & why?

The purpose of a warm up prior to sport is to prepare you mentally and physically for the tasks about to be performed. Your warm up regime should aim to gradually increase your mobility and aid in delivering more blood flow to your muscles. Research shows that well designed ‘dynamic warm ups’ can significantly reduce your risk of injury.

A point of note is that you should not perform excessive static stretching prior to sport. Research (Herbert et al 2011) has indicated that static stretching prior to sport may in fact reduce performance and it does not significantly reduce your chance of injury.

So what are the key approaches with a warm up?

1. Have a graduated approach – start with gentle movement (e.g: light jog) and follow this with various mobility based movement patterns. Over a 10 -15 minute period these mobility and movement based exercises become more dynamic and can start to mimic some of the requirements for your sport (e.g: agility drills).

2. Be consistent with your warm up regime. Don’t take shortcuts with your preparation. You will feel physically and mentally prepared if you have completed your chosen regime.

3. Don’t forget about mental preparation. A large part of ‘readiness’ for competition involves mental preparation. Thinking about any tactical plans, coaches instructions, team rules, assessing weather conditions and mentally anticipating events before they happen help you to execute skills more efficiently in a game. Your warm up regime can be used to focus your mental preparation.

4. Don’t over ‘hype’ yourself before competition. There is an optimal level of ‘mental arousal’. Athletes that are too hyped up are just as likely to not perform at an optimal level as those who are under aroused.

A sample warm up program might be as follows –

o Foam rolling – at least 10 rolls per muscle group. This might take 3-5 minutes.

o Graduated dynamic warm up. Start with gentle movement and gradually increase the range of motion, speed and complexity of the exercises. Moving from a light jog to controlled agility drills, progressing to running drills of a more dynamic nature.

o If your sport involves running, a progressive running drill sequence to prepare for full speed running. Graduated ‘run through’ drills over 30 – 40 metres are a good way to achieve this. Start at 50% of your maximum sprint speed, jog back, the next one at 60% and repeat until full speed drills have been achieved. Follow these with some advanced change of direction drills.

o Introduce game specific skills after your physical preparation is complete. This means your brain is being switched to ‘game mode’ just before your start.

If you have any questions about what is the best way for you to warm up please contact the team at Rise Health Group.

We hope this information and tips help you to perform at your peak.
If you need any help or advice with regard to your well being don’t hesitate to contact the team at Rise Health Group on 9763 9233

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