The objective of the warm up is to decrease the risk for injury but does warming up really do just that? The plausible answer is “yes” even though there has not been any scientific evidence that warming up decreases the risk for injury. Reason being – it seems to be very difficult to isolate all the variables. The video below will introduce a warm up routine and show you how to perform the exercises safely with good form. 

How Warming Up Decreases the Risk for Injury

The concept is to increase muscle tissue temperature. When the muscle tissue temperature increases then the muscle tissue is less bisque, particularly at the joint capsule, and elastic properties of the muscle tissue are diminished and efficiency of neural transmission and proprioception is compromised, which means that coordination suffers.

By performing a proper warm up routine you enhance the dynamics of the muscle tissue, making it more tolerant to stress (improved flexibility), increasing neuromuscular efficiency, and improving stability, which suggests that the risk for injury is decreased. The enhanced dynamics of the muscle tissue are:

  • Improved elastic properties – flexibility (range of motion; ROM)
  • Greater efficiency of neural transmission
  • Improved proprioception – enhanced coordination/stability

Because proprioceptors (sensors that locate body positioning) are more dynamically enhanced with a warm up, the risk of overextending into a muscle strain due to lack of tissue pliability is diminished, and the ability to maintain stability improves. Also, improving elastic properties by generating more blood flow to the muscle tissue and hence elevating muscle temperature has a positive effect on being able to generate more power (vs. static stretching). Therefore, it is suggested that improving the ability to maintain stability and increasing the range of motion (ROM) at a joint would reduce one’s risk for injury.

Video

 

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