The warm-up.

The warm-up is light exercise to get your body ready for the main activity. It will be a physical (muscles and joints) and psychological (mental) preparation.

Objectives.

When we start a warm-up we are trying to achieve the following effects:
1- To increase the body temperature.
2- To increase the heart rate and blood flow. We need more blood in the muscles because they are starting to work harder.
3- To increase your rate of breathing to alow more oxygen to get into muscle cells.
4- To reduce the risk of muscle and joint injury.
5- In a psychological level to increase attention and visual perception.


Warm-up phases.


There are multiple ways to do a warm-up, in fact everyone should adapt the warm-up to their physical characteristics. One of the most complete way to do a warm-up is the following.

1- In this fist phase we should do some gentle exercises like jogging, we shall start running and we shall do running exercices. Those exercises should be light in the begining and more intense at the end..
There is a lot of exercices we can do in this phase, here you have some of them:
we can:
- move our upper limb while running (shoulder flexion and extension, abduction and adduction, circumduction).
- run in all directions (forward, backwards, sideways, sideways crossing legs, change directions...)
- do skipping.
- Gluteal kicks.
- Touch the ground and keep running.
- Do little jumps with one or two legs.
- Sit or lie down and keep running.
- and any other exercise that involves running from low to high intensity.




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2- Stretching. Now we should stretch our muscles. We should focus on stretching the muscles that will be involved in the main activity. In the next pictures you have some examples, but if you want to find out more, you can visit the flexibility section on this wiki.



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3- Generic exercises. We shall do two kinds of exercise here.

A) First we shall do the joints warm-up, specifically the joints that are involved in the sport or the main activity we are going to practice. It´s important to do it on the best possible way in order to reduce the risk of injury such as sprains, ligament ruptures and dislocations. We should do all the posible movements at joints to warm-up them.

B) Now we shall start doing some more intensive exercises like sprints, start short races from a different position every time, strength exercises, games....

4- Specific phase. It´s just as important as the other phases, in fact there is a specific warm-up (we do the entire warm up based only in this phase). In this phase we shall do sport-related exercises, for example if we are going to play basketball, we shall do passes, shooting drills, 2 on 1 and more.

5- Recovery phase before main activity. The recovery phase should be long enough that you are able to recover your normal breathing rate, but not so long that your muscles are completely cooled down.

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Types of warm-up.

We are only going to talk about two diferent ways to classiffy the warm-up.

The first classified the warm-up is:
1- General warm-up. You can use this warm up for every sport or activity because in this warm-up you will do non-specific exercises.
2- Specific warm-up. Almost all the exercises you do, are related to a specific sport or activity you will practice.
As you can see above, the best one is the warm-up that includes both general and specific phases.

The second classified the warm-up is:
1- Active warm-up. You do all the exercises to reach an optimal warm-up.
2- Passive warm-up. Increase your body temperature by external means like massages, saunas, infra red lamps or any other heat source...........
The passive warming up should be complementary to the active warm-up.