A Dynamic Approach To Your Pre-Game Warm-UpMar 28
By Stephanie Bingham, MS, LAT
If 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 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, Drayer Physical Therapy has many programs to help keep athletes in the game. To learn more, please reach out to your local Drayer outpatient clinic.