What Is Warmup?
Warmup is the kick-start process before any physical exercise or activity. In order to ensure that the body is ready to do heavy physical exercise or routine, warmup activities help to increase the body temperature and activate muscles to get involved in something different than routine work.
The warmup of muscles help with the increase the production of energy in human body, hence the reflexes also increase and the contraction time of muscles decrease. Warmup done in the right way helps to prepare someone to get started with exercise and helps stretching the muscles for enhanced motion range.
There could be different types and duration for warmup activities depending upon the physical activity for which you are preparing the body. As an example, if the heavy exercise involve your lower body then the warm up should also be mostly for the legs but the upper body should also be ready to carry the weight of legs.
In order to achieve better results, the warmup session should be as engaging as the actual exercise, the intensity and frequency should be close to actual physical activity. However, make sure you do not perform warm up in the ending position.
Ending position stretching of the body parts can cause the stoppage to blood flow and may result in muscle or other internal damages to the body.
You may consider choosing ending position or static stretching after a workout session when the body temperature is relatively cool down.
The ideal flow of a warmup activity is to start with mild level physical stretches that gradually increase the core body temperature and then gradually move towards more dynamic body stretch, increasing the motion of the body.
Another indicator of a good warmup session is the heart beat level; you should be able to see gradual increase in the heart beat rather an abrupt increase.
For a better understanding, consider the example of daily walk. In case, you are planning to perform a walk daily 60 minutes. Ideally first 10 to 15 minutes you should do jog and then increase the pace of footsteps to convert that into a running.
The initial 15 minutes are warmup that prepare your legs for a running session of remaining 45 minutes. In these intense 45 minutes of work out you can then adopt to do knee hugs or squad stretches depending, later jump to high knees or do sprints.
Going back playing sports and worried about picking up an injury? Well there are a few things you can do and doing a proper warmup is one of them.
What Makes A Good Warmup?
Does your warm up RAMP you up for your sport? If a warm up contains 4 of the following it is a good warm up:
- Raise – Increase muscle temperature, core temperature, blood flow, muscle elasticity and neural activation.
- Activate – Engage the muscles in preparation for the upcoming session
- Mobilise – Focus on movement patterns which will be used during the game.
- Potentiate – Gradually increasing the stress on the body in preparation for the upcoming competition/session.
Fortunately, the GAA have a number of evidenced based warm ups designed to reduce the risk of injury through these above principles:
GAA 15 Warm Up: https://learning.gaa.ie/sites/default/files/GAA-15-Warm-Up.pdf
Activate GAA Warm Up: https://ulster.gaa.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Long-guide-amended.pdf
The warm ups are based on solid medical research and, if performed regularly with proper technique, can reduce non-contact leg injuries by up to 50%.
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