Warming up properly can help reduce the risk of injury occurrence in sport. Warming up is crucial to any sport or training regime. There are a number of key elements when it comes to warming up properly. We warm up in order to prepare both the body and mind for more vigorous activity.
Warming up helps to raise the body's temperature, both in the muscles and in the core. Increasing the temperature of the body can help to loosen up the muscles and make them more pliable and supple. A proper warm up also helps to increase heart rate and respiratory rate, which can help with blood flow. A benefit of this is that oxygen and nutrient flow to the working muscles will be improved.
In order to warm up properly for exercise, it is necessary to start with an easy and gentle activity. One should look to gradually build up the intensity of the exercise until the body reaches a physical and mental peak. When this is achieved, the body should be ready to perform the physical activity. The risk of injury should also be reduced as a result of a proper warm up. A warm up should be structured so as to perform a general warm up first, followed by static stretching, a sports specific warm up, and dynamic stretching. Each of these elements are important, and each part should be thought of as equally valuable.
Physical exercise and stretching
A general warm up consists of light physical exercise. This includes activities such as jogging, walking, skipping, and gentle aerobics. The duration and intensity of this component will be determined by the fitness level of the athlete. However, five to ten minutes of this element is recommended on average.Stretching should be considered to be part of a warm up. Stretching alone should not be considered to be an adequate warm up. It must be combined with the other elements of the warm up regime. With regard to the four elements of the warm up, they must be performed sequentially and completely, in order to perform a safe and effective warm up.
Sport specific warm ups should only take place after successful completion of the general warm up and stretching phases. This element of the warm up serves to prepare the body for the demands of a particular sport. More vigorous activity is recommended here. The final phase of the warm up should involve dynamic stretching. This will help to complete and round off the warm up.