Whether you’re a gym regular, or just taking up a new sport, you’ll want to be sure that injury doesn’t interrupt your fitness routine
Warming up before working out or playing sport, and cooling down afterwards can help you avoid injury – especially if you build in a few exercises that help prepare your body for the type of activity you’re about to undertake
General warm up
By warming up before exercise you increase blood flow to muscles and other soft tissues gradually, which is an important factor in avoiding damage to ligaments, muscles, joints and tendons. A general warm up should include five to ten minutes of light cardiovascular activity, such as fast walking or slow jogging, to increase your heart rate gradually, promote blood flow to your muscles and supply them with more oxygen
Sports-specific warm up
To properly prepare your muscles and increase your mobility, physiotherapists suggest any warm up routine should include time spent on performing the exercise you’re about to undertake at a slow pace.
Typical examples include a slow jog for running, a gentle cycle for a spin class or a slow swim before building up speed in the pool.
Follow this with some sports-specific movements relevant to the activity you’re about to perform. Try service motions for tennis, catching practice for cricket or side stepping for football. Top physio tips for a sports-specific warm up. Basic physiotherapy advice on the principles of effectively warming up for some of the most popular forms of exercise is outlined below.
For more detailed information on these tips and how to prepare properly for exercise, seek the advice of a chartered physiotherapist in our office