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Sport/movement Specific Warm-ups?

We have all heard it, “go for a jog to warm up” but is that really enough?

Short answer, no. Warmups should be specific to whatever chosen activities you are about to commence. Yes, running is a good way to increase blood flow but if you are about to go for a surf it does not really provide the specific mobility you need to perform the carves or the lay back hacks you are about to do.

Why is it important to choose drills that warm up specific movements you are going to perform in a session or game? Well here are a few reasons.

  • Injury prevention, there is a large amount of evidence that states implementing a sport specific warm up can reduce the chances of injury. For example, warming up the lower limbs to reduce the likelihood of ankle sprains of ACL injuries in soccer players (using FIFA11).
  • It Increases core temperature and blood flow to the associated muscle groups that you are about to use.
  • When using the same muscle groups during a sport/movement specific warm up It increases enzymatic activity (assists in muscle contraction) which will in turn increase muscle stimulation. Simply put, your muscles will be fired up and ready to go if you have performed the same movements in your warmup than that of your chosen sport/ exercise program.

To incorporate a sport or movement specific warm up a few tips are provided below:

  • Look at your session plan, understand the movements you are about to perform and replicate them as best as possible at a slower gentler rate
  • Add in movements that will increase your core temperature and blood flow
  • If your sport or exercise routine for the day is leg dominant, ensure your warmup is predominantly leg focused (or vice versa for upper body)
  • Choose dynamic movements over static stretching, as majority of the time you will not be performing something at a stand still

If you find that you are still struggling with how to ad in a specific warm up, give us a call and let us help you! After all, it is our job J

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