THE GENERAL WARM-UP
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO PERFORM A GENERAL WARM-UP CORRECTLY
WHAT IS WARM-UP
The warm-up is the first of the parts that make up a physical education class or a training session for any sport: warm-up, main part and cool down. There are two main types of warm-up, general and specific. The general warm-up is the one that we do before any physical activity and has nothing to do with the activity that we will carry out later in the main part of the session. On the other hand, the specific warm-up is the one that we do after the general warm-up, and it is directly related to the tasks that we will carry out in the main part. For example, in a soccer or volleyball session, after the general warm-up, we would carry out specific exercises for those sports with the ball, practicing some of the most common technical actions and tactical situations.
WHAT IS THE WARM-UP FOR?
The main objective of warming up is to prepare the body to perform a physical activity. Warming up leads to a better mental predisposition towards physical exercise, greater concentration and motivation, prevent injuries and improves sports performance in the short term. However, it must be said that the studies regarding the benefits of warming up are not definitive and that there are researchers who doubt about these benefits.
HOW TO DO A WARM-UP
There is no single way to warm up. Depending on the age of the participants, the sports discipline, the weather, the playing surface, the experience or tastes of the teacher or coach. In the first place we must say that there is a great terminological confusion and that many terms are used to refer to the same concept. When looking for information about the warm-up, we must take this into account and attend not so much to the name as to what is intended to be achieved in each of its parts.
As a general rule we can say that a warm-up has four parts, which are done most of the time in this order:
- Active stretching
- Passive stretching
The really important thing is not to know the name or the order of the phases as to understand what each of them intends to achieve:
- The activation phase or continuous running has a great social and mental component. The objective is none other than to increase the heart rate, increase the temperature and, as strat sweating. It is a phase that helps participants to increase their concentration on the task and to become aware of what they are going to do. We advise to do this part relaxed, smoothly and progressively. The duration of this phase can range between three and five minutes.
- The active stretching phase aims to mobilize the main joints of the body with the main objective of increasing the neuromuscular capacity to perceive external information (proprioception) and to increase the range of movement.The active stretching can be performed statically (on the spot) or preferably dynamically (while running). It is important to follow a logical order in the proposed exercises, normally we will go from the bottom to the top or vice versa. The duration of this phase can range between three and five minutes.
- The passive stretching phase is usually performed third and focuses on stretching the main muscle groups. As in the previous phase, the exercises must be performed in order. The stretching exercises will also be performed during the cool-down of the session, however, the main difference is that during the warm-up the duration these exercises will be very short, between 5 and 10 seconds per exercise and between one and three repetitions per muscle. In total, this phase will last between four and six minutes.
Lastly, the speed or reaction speed phase aims to increase the activation of the nervous system. We use short exercises at maximum and submaximal intensit. These exercises can be analytical, such as short sprints, team speed competitions; or global, through games.
- Spine (chain of articulated vertebrae)
- Neck (part of the body, not joint)
- Calf / Calves
- Hamstrings (group of muscles)
- Quadriceps (group of muscles)
- Hip flexors
- Abdominals (group of muscles)
- Lumbars (group of muscles)