Dynamic warm ups: What are they and why are they important in sports?
Within the sporting world, it is common practice for athletes to commence a thorough warm-up to get their bodies physically prepared to play. Typically, the most known method of warming is stretching. However, in terms of recovery and injury reduction, there is a more modern approach to warm-ups, known as dynamic warm-ups.
Dynamic warm-ups consist of repetitive movements that are ‘active’ in nature. These are usually structured to be similar to the movements that the sport/activity needs. Keeping constantly moving during a dynamic warm-up promotes greater blood flow to the muscles and better recruitment of nerve fibres that transmit messages to the working muscles. They also play a part in elevating heart rate in preparation for vigorous exercise and enhancing joint mobility. These body changes allow athletes to be much more prepared for their sport. Therefore, improving their performance and decreasing their chance of injury.
What about stretching?
What is commonly referred to as stretching is termed ‘static stretching’. This involves a prolonged muscle stretch, normally held for around 30 seconds. This is a great way to improve the range of motion of a certain muscle, and its joint that with enacts upon. Static stretching does not effectively warm up the body in the same way that dynamic warm-ups do. When a lot of static stretching is done immediately before sport, evidence suggests that static stretching can hinder performance. This is why a moving or dynamic warm-up is used more often.
How are Dynamic warm-ups structured?
Dynamic warm-ups do not need to be overly complicated. They only need to last for a period of 10 minutes. The movements/exercises picked gradually progress the speed and power the athlete uses. Furthermore, it is also imperative that a dynamic warm-up is specific to the sport itself. For instance, a basketballer should incorporate light change of direction movements into their dynamic warmup, as this will mimic the movements when playing. It may even be possible to get a ball/sports equipment involved in the dynamic warmup, such as throwing, kicking or change of direction.
Looking to add Dynamic warm-ups to your routine?
Warming up is essential, but so is doing it in the right way at the right time. If you’re a sporting athlete, or the weekend warrior doing a big workout, consider your current warm-up routine.
Book an appointment with the team at Hoppers Physio to include more dynamic-based movements to be as physically ready as you can possibly be.