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Warming Up

One of the best ways to prevent injury is with an effective warm up prior to sport or activity. A proper warm up for the average athlete should be at least 10-15 minutes in duration and should progress through a variety of stages and warm up activities.

The purpose of an effective warm up is to increase your heart rate and body temperature, and to facilitate blood flow to the muscles to be used during the activity. This improves the elasticity of both muscles and joints, alerts neural pathways and stimulates muscles in preparation for performance. An effective warm up will also help to evenly distribute lubricating fluid throughout the joints to be used therefore reducing friction during movement and minimising the potential for injury.

As a general guideline, an effective warm up should produce mild sweating without fatigue and should progress through four primary phases:

Warm Up - Phase 1
The first phase of a warm up should involve a low intensity cardiovascular exercise such as light jogging or walking to increase the heart rate and blood flow to muscles. This phase of the warm up should last for 2-5 mins.
Warm Up - Phase 2
The second phase of the warm up should involve dynamic range of movement exercises to loosen up the joints and muscles to be used. This phase of the warm up should focus on those specific body parts to be used for that particular sport. These warm up stretches should be dynamic rather than static. Some examples of dynamic warm up stretches include: lunges, squats, trunk rotations, leg swings, arm rotations, etc.
Warm Up - Phase 3
The third phase of a warm up should entail warm up activities involving agility, acceleration, deceleration and speed drills, preparing your body for more rapid movements that will be required for your particular sport. This should involve a gradual progression starting at low intensity and building up to greater intensity. This phase of the warm up may involve, for example, repeated strides, initially in straight lines and at low intensities and then progressing to change of direction and greater intensities and shorter distances.
Warm Up - Phase 4
The fourth and final phase of a warm up is the sport specific phase. This is where you perform the skills involved in your particular sport, initially at low intensity and then building up to greater intensity. For example, footballers may perform warm up activities such as running or jumping drills and kicking for goal, basketballers may perform dribbling, passing, shooting and rebounding etc. By the end of this phase of the warm up you should be performing your particular skill at 100%, thereby ensuring you body is ready to perform the required skills in a match situation at 100%.

If you are interested in Elite Professionals assisting with your individual or team Warm up or Warm down sessions please Call us Now on 3394 4489 or email and we will be in touch to organise a suitable time to further discuss your needs with no obligation.

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