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How to Warm-Up Before the Game

April 20, 2011 Print This ArticleShare

Author: Michael Greeves

Most athletes know that they need to warm-up before any type of exercise, but particularly before a game. Muscle stiffness, slow blood flow, and a sluggish heart rate are not conducive to the best sports performance. The proper warm-up will avoid all these problems and get you ready for your event.

Aerobic Warm-Up

A quick aerobic warm-up can be used to start things off. A light 5 or 10 minute jog is enough to get the blood moving and the heart going at a higher rate. It also increases your temperature, which is important in relaxing tense and stiff muscles.

Dynamic Stretches

Many people who are not schooled in the proper ways to warm-up will use static stretching before an event, not knowing that they are actually hurting their sports performance instead of helping it. Static stretching, by the way, is that old-school type where you stretch out slowly, hold the position, and maybe even stretch a little more when that becomes comfortable. Static refers to the fact that you are not moving during the stretch. This type of stretching has been used for years, but recent research has shown that static stretching is not a good option for warm-ups.

Dynamic stretches, on the other hand, are done with gentle, swinging movements. The arms and legs are swung back and forth, or side to side, to a point where the limits of your range of motion are reached. Although the body is moving rather than static, the movements are smooth and controlled. Dynamic stretching has been proven in practice to prevent injury and increase sports performance.

Technique Drills

The athlete who is getting ready for a game will want to do some sports-specific technique drills before using those skills in the actual event. Basketball players might do some various dribbling technique exercises or baseball players might do a drill that imitates the movements necessary for a double-play. These techniques drills will not only warm up the body for the movements that are to come. They will also help the athlete focus his mind on the event and the steps needed to complete it with success.

Athletes who want to improve their performance in a sports event should warm-up thoroughly every time. The first time you step onto the field without doing the necessary aerobic, stretching and technical warm-up exercises, you will pay for it in one way or another. Even if you are lucky enough to avoid injury, you will have diminished capacity compared to your potential. Your body will just not be working at its peak performance level. You and your team will suffer the consequences. If you always warm-up correctly and completely, you will have a better chance to succeed each time.


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