Warm ups prepare the body for activity. They are aimed to prime the nervous system, loosen joints and increase blood flow to muscles. As a result, they can improve performance and minimise the risk of injury.
You should allow at least 30 minutes for a warm up prior to a game. This should include dynamic stretches, such as leg swings, bum kicks and lunging rotations, as well as active running work and sport specific skills. Active running skills should include a mix of slow jogging progressing to spring work, change of direction drills and jumping drills. Team based drills and ball skills (if relevant) should be included in the sport specific warm ups.
Allow yourself enough time to complete the warm up with five minutes to relax before the starting whistle.
Even though you can reduce the risk of injury, sometimes they are inevitable. But should a person continue to play the sport after an injury has occurred?
On many occasions, a few minutes is required for the initial trauma to settle down. If the pain significantly settles and you can return to the field without discomfort, it is generally safe to continue. If in any doubt at all -stay on the side bench.
After the game
Post-game routine is just as important as the warm up and game itself. Rehydration and food intake are key. An active recovery, also known as a "cool down", can be effective to reduce delayed onset for soreness. This tends to include some low intensity running and a mix of dynamic and static stretching.
Acute injury management
Remember this guide does not replace medical advice for specific injuries and if in any doubt, seek advice from The Sports Injury Clinic. Call us on 9783 9990 or book online.