A warm up consist of exercises performed immediately before an activity to increase circulation and heart rate, is an essential part of a good conditioning program. These exercises are designed to improve performance and reduce the chance of injury by preparing the athlete mentally as well as physically for his or her sport. Physiologically, a warm up elevates body temperature and increase blood flow.
Warm up routines are typically classified into three categories:
* A passive warm up involves raising the body temperature by some external means such as heating pads and hot showers.
* A general warm up is probably the most commonly used technique. It employs various movements not directly related to those employed in the activity itself. These include joint rotations, gentle twisting and bending movements.
* A formal or specific warm up include movements employed in the actual activity, performed at a reduced level of intensity.
An athlete’s warm up should be intense enough to increase body temperature and cause some sweating but not so intense as to cause fatigue.
BENEFITS OF A GOOD WARM-UP
*Increase in body and tissue temperature
*Increase of blood flow through the active muscles
*Increase in heart rate, which prepares the cardiovascular system for work
*Increase in the rate of energy release in the body (the metabolic rate)
*Increase in the exchange of oxygen from hemoglobin
*Increase in speed at which nerve impulses travel, facilitating body movements
*Increase in reciprocal innervations efficiency (allowing muscles to contract and relax faster and more efficiently)
*Decrease in muscular tension
*Enhanced ability of connective tissue to elongate
*Help in preparing the athlete psychologically