A warm-up is
essential before physical activity. The purpose of a warm-up is to
increase the body core temperature, heart rate, and blood flow, and
decrease the viscosity of connective tissue, increasing muscular
performance and enhancing psychological performances. Most individuals
involved in sports do a warm-up just because it is what they think
they are supposed to do, however, most people do not know the
reasoning behind it. It prepares the athlete not only physiologically,
but mentally as well.
Flexibility is an important component
for activities of daily living and for sports, particularly ones that
call for increased mobility. Although it has been shown that a dynamic
warm-up is more beneficial for performance, a lack of flexibility may
increase the chance of injury. Therefore, static stretching is
recommended after physical activity, not before.
Power, jumping performance, and speed
are imperative in today’s competitive sports world. Recent research
has suggested that utilizing a dynamic warm-up routine instead of
static stretching increases power, jumping performance and
acceleration/speed. Some studies have found a decrease in mean running
speed or no change at all following a static stretching protocol.
A dynamic warm-up features progressive,
continuous movement. Calisthenics such as squatting and lunging
movements often are paired with running drills that include forward,
lateral, and change-of-directions movement. An advantage of a dynamic
stretching routine is that they are more functional and sport
With regards to speed, a dynamic
warm-up is more effective than any other type of pre-activity warm-up.
The objectives of a DWU are to increase body temperature and heart
rate, pliability of joints and muscles, and responsiveness of nerves
and muscles in preparation for physical activity. To achieve optimum
speed the body needs to be ready to react quickly. A dynamic will
prepare the body for such activities. It will also prepare the body
for quick movements as well. Almost all sports utilize speed somewhere
and being as prepared as possible will have positive results.
Plyometric training involves quick,
powerful movements. Plyometrics are closely related to a dynamic
warm-up because the body is continuously moving through its full range
of motion. The movements of this kind of training focuses on jumping,
hopping and bounding movements for the lower body and swinging, quick
action push-off, catching and throwing weighted objects, arm swings,
and pulley throws for the upper body.
This form of training is used because
it develops both strength and power in the muscles involved in
sprinting and jumping. The main goal to plyometric training is to
improve an athlete’s ability to generate maximum force in the shortest
time. In track and field, this is important for not only the sprinters
but for jumpers, pole vaulters, and throwers as well.
Sport load is adding weight to the
body. Weight can be added to the body in many different forms, ranging
from weighted vests, pants, and suits, to bats, balls, and poles. The
purpose of sport loading is to improve explosive concentric movements.
The purpose of speed endurance training
is to prevent an athlete from slowing down late in the game or at the
end of a sprint. Speed endurance training will also improve an
athlete’s ability to make repeated bursts of speed strong every time;
this is important in sports such as soccer, field hockey, and
lacrosse. It could even be important for baseball and softball.
Different training programs exist that are designed to activate the
specific energy systems needed for sport.