For a warm-up to be effective you need to put time into planning and ensure that the content is suitable for the individual or group.
Athletes invest considerable time into their warm-up routines so it deserves to be done well. For example, a 20-minute warm-up performed three times per week over 10 weeks is equal to 10 hours of training time.
Warm-ups are greatly important because they allow athletes to maximise physical performance and reduce injury risk during training sessions or competition.
What to think about when planning a warm up
Some basics to consider are:
- Activity that will follow the warm-up
- Time or length of warm-up
- Space available
- Number of athletes and coaches
How to warm up
The RAMP framework is a template that allows you to construct a warm-up with content sequenced appropriately, resulting in athletes being well prepared for the activities that follow:
Raise – Raise body temperature, heart and breathing rates, and increase blood flow to working muscles
Activate – Activate the main muscle groups
Mobilise – Mobilise the key joints
Potentiate – Mirror the level of intensity that will be produced during the exercises that follow in training or competition
Extra things to focus on
Warm-ups also provide a great opportunity to spend time on weaknesses, additional technical practice/rehearsal and injury prevention or management. This is often referred to as ‘movement preparation’, ‘movement competence’ or ‘prehabilitation’. Its inclusion aligns with the goals of a general warm-up in enhancing performance and athlete durability, however, supports a more long-term approach towards individual improvement over time.
The groups of activities that can be included in a warm-up for the purpose of prehabilitation are:
- Balance & stability (Static, Dynamic)
- Plyometrics (landing, jumping, pogo jumping, hopping, bounding)
Now that you know the importance of warming up, here’s a 30 minute full body workout you can do in your local playground.