top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureMark Macdonald

THE WARM UP

"A well-planned warm-up has the potential to not only prepare athletes physically and mentally but also possess the ability to reduce the likelihood of injury and improve performance."

Why then do we see, every weekend, community sports people not do any sort of warm up before they play, or start their gym session. We then see it at Physiotherapy during the week where many weekend warriors come in, having torn a hamstring or rolled an ankle in the first part of their match.


These injuries often happen due to inadequate preparation for the match - players are simply just not ready to perform the high velocity sprints, changes of direction or impacts that happen in a match.



WHAT IS A GOOD WARM UP?


A warm up should last between 10 and 30 minutes and incorporate activities that relate to the sport you are playing. The RAMP protocol gives us a framework for a well designed warm up routine.


  1. RAISE


The aim of the ‘raise’ section is to:

  • ↑ Body temperature

  • ↑ Heart rate

  • ↑ Respiration rate

  • ↑ Blood flow

  • ↑ Joint viscosity


This was often done as a jog around the field, but better than that is short sprints, skips, planned change of direction activities, lunging or squatting.


2. ACTIVATE AND MOBILISE


The aim of this phase of the warm-up is two-fold:

  • Activate key muscle groups

  • Get key joints moving and use ranges of motion used in the sport or activity


Each sport will be different. The exercises done here in cricket and netball will be quite different


3. PERFORMANCE


This phase serves two primary objectives:

  • ↑ Intensity to a comparable level the athletes’ are about to compete in.

  • ↑ Improve subsequent performance utilising the effects of a particular exercise


This phase involves high-intensity drills that are highly specific to the sport. In rugby it may involve tackling drills, in basketball it may be one on one drills.


WHAT ABOUT STRETCHING?


Although it has always been a cornerstone component of warming up as a method to decrease injury risk and improve performance, there is little evidence, if any, to indicate that pre- or post-exercise static stretching reduces injury.


Dynamic stretching, however, has been consistently shown to improve subsequent performance. Additionally, because dynamic stretching requires the muscle to activate through a range of movements, it is believed that this contributes to the neural activation requirements of warm-ups. As a result, dynamic stretching may be the most appropriate form of mobilisation during warm-ups for most activities and sports which are dynamic in nature.


SO HOW DO I PLAN A WARM UP?


Use the RAMP framework above.


But if you are still not sure, many sports have already done the hard work for you.


Soccer has the FIFA 11+ protocol, Netball, the KNEE program and AFL has Prep to Play.


Check out your sport for more information.




Still not sure. Why not let one of our experienced physios help you design a warm up program. It may save you a few visits to the physio and a few weeks on the sideline during the season.



13 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page