The 4 types of sports warm-up (and their characteristics)

Warming up is one of the most important phases of exercising. Thanks to it, our muscles and our circulatory system are ready to assume a higher energy expenditure than usual, thanks to the mediation of the endocrine system and its hormonal regulation.

However, it should be noted that there are several types of sports warm-ups depending on the type of physical activity we are going to use for sports. In this article, we will see a summary of these categories and their characteristics.

    What is a warm-up before playing sports?

    The general concept of a sports warm-up refers to a series of exercises that aim to work several muscle groups in the body at the same time. so that the body is prepared for the demands of sport and enter an activation state in which it is possible to exercise physically.

    Basically it is about making the body perform at its best and that the investment of effort leads to an optimal return, Minimize the risk of injury and achieve better goals.

    It does this by raising the temperature of the muscles and increasing the heart rate, processes that allow the rapid and efficient release of force.

      The main types of sports warm-up

      Now let’s see what are the types of warm-ups before exercising and what their functions are.

      1. General heating

      The main function of the general warm-up is to prepare as many muscles as possible for the upcoming activity, without focusing on a specific muscle group. It is used so that the whole body enters, globally, a phase of activation and optimization of the burning of calories.

      To do this type of warm-up, movements are performed that do not involve exerting a lot of force. In other words, exercises that activate the muscles spread throughout the moderate or moderate intensity. For example, walking on an elliptical trainer or running without sprinting.

      2. Specific heating

      In the segmented or specific warm-up, we work with the muscles and joints directly involved in the type of exercise we are going to perform.

      Usually, this type of warm-up consists of performing the exercise that we will do later, practicing with a low or very low intensity. For example, if we are doing the bench press, the segmented warm-up will consist of raising the bar by adding discs that weigh very little, so we can do a lot of reps.

      While the general warm-up is done once and is valid for the whole session, it is possible (and recommended) to perform several phases of the segmented warm-up in each session, one each time he changes activity or muscle groups to work.

      3. Dynamic heating

      If the above types of warm-up differ in particular by emphasizing the parts of the body involved, in this case the main characteristic is the nature of the activity to be carried out.

      Dynamic heating is distinguished by the implementation of a wide variety of biological processes: strength, flexibility, proprioception and balance, breath control, Sharpening of reflexes, etc.

      Thus, it uses both physical and psychological properties to bring us into the physical and mental state that will prepare us to function properly when we actually move on to the sport or exercise for which we are training. .

      For example, doing a series of fast, non-stop exercises through a circuit, although of medium intensity, falls into this category.

      4. Preventive heating

      It is the implementation of specific instructions indicated by a professional that has given guidelines for preventing a specific injury class or worsening of an injury that already exists.

      By its nature, it is low intensity, although its nature can vary considerably depending on the case and the possible risk incurred by athletes.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Anderson, D. (1989). Discipline and profession. Foundations of Canadian Studies in Physical Education, Recreation and Sport. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Editors.
      • Fradkin AJ, Zazryn TR, Smoliga JM (2010). “Effects of warming on physical performance: a systematic review with meta-analysis.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 24 (1): 140 to 148.
      • Rössler, R .; Junge, A .; Bizzini, M .; Verhagen, E .; Chomiak, J .; aus der Fünten, K .; Meyer, T .; Dvorak, J .; Lichtenstein, E .; Beaudouin, F .; Faude, O. (2017). “A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Multinational Cluster to Evaluate the Effectiveness of ’11+ Kids’: A Warm-Up Program to Prevent Injury in Children’s Football.” Sports medicine.
      • Soligard, T., Myklebust, G., Steffen, K., Holme, I., Silvers, H., Bizzini, M. et al. (2008) “Comprehensive warm-up program to prevent injury in young footballers: a randomized controlled trial in a cluster”. BMJ, 337: a2469

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