Importance of Warming Up
Have you have ever watched athletes before a sporting event, you may have noticed them spending a large chunk of time warming up.
Pre-game warm-ups are important for athletes of all levels and ages, gradually preparing the body for physical activity. Warm-ups should involve activities that slowly increase heart rate and blood flow, allowing muscles to get ready to work.
For a long time, many athletes would start with static stretching; that is, stretching in one position while at rest. We now know that dynamic stretching is a more functional and effective way to prepare the body for competition, and it may help to prevent injury and improve performance.
Dynamic stretching is stretching performed through motion:
- A good dynamic warm-up starts with basic movements that target flexibility and the range of motion of large groups of muscles throughout the body. Examples include arm circles, butt kicks and high knees.
- The warm-up then should then transition into more challenging movements, such as lunges with a torso twist down the field, side shuffles and back pedaling.
- By the end of the warm-up, athletes should be mimicking movements specific to their sport.
By developing and using a dynamic warm-up for games and practices, athletes can ensure that their bodies are ready for the demands of their sport.
From custom dynamic warm-up programs to injury prevention, Optimum Performance Physical Therapy in Towson, Maryland serving the Baltimore area has many programs to help keep athletes in the game. To learn more, please reach out to us today.