How long is the warm-up time?
The question of the duration of a warm-up programme is also individual and sports-specific. Sports with fast movements require more effort than slower movements. The same applies to the coordination range.
Younger athletes have the advantage that the entire musculoskeletal system reaches the operating temperature faster than older athletes. Therefore a warming up of about 5 minutes is sufficient for children and adolescents, whereas older people need between 10 and 20 minutes. The scope of the warm-up programme also increases with increasing performance level. Furthermore, it should be noted that the duration of the warm-up program should depend on the time of day and the outside temperature. Early in the morning and at colder temperatures the human organism needs more time to reach the desired operating temperature.
Why should you warm up before sports?
- Warming up is primarily important to prevent various injuries. Muscles that have not been warmed up tend to rupture muscle fibres and other injuries if they are subjected to excessive strain. In a Norwegian study it was shown that warmed up players suffered only half as many injuries as those who had not warmed up.
- The warm-up training gives the body, i.e. both the muscles and the psyche, the opportunity to prepare for the upcoming strain. The musculature is prepared for the upcoming load by a relatively weak stimulus. – Furthermore, the warming up serves to increase the heart rate, which guarantees a better supply of oxygen to the muscles, but also a better removal of metabolic products.
- The activation of the nervous system plays another important role. By warming up, the body is able to activate additional muscle fibres more easily, in order to be able to perform better in the end. – Last but not least, an extensive warm-up program ensures that the joints are protected. The low load results in increased production of synovial fluid and a strengthening of the joint cartilage. Both factors have a protective effect on joint wear and tear.
What is to be observed when warming up?
- The warm-up should always be carried out under sport-specific aspects. This not only warms up the muscles, but also trains the sport-specific motor skills. – When training with children, the warm-up should be considered under motivational aspects.
In Physical Education
The body needs a certain amount of time to prepare itself from rest for an exertion and then to perform at full capacity. The cardiovascular system and blood distribution adapt during warming up and the resilience of muscles, ligaments and tendons also improves. When warming up at school in sports lessons, there are other points to consider besides these aspects.
Physical education is not usually about competition or high performance sports. Rather, it is about developing a feeling for movement, improving body awareness, getting to know sports and sports games, maintaining health and preventing illness and injury and having fun. For this reason, lessons usually require a weakened warm-up phase tailored to the goal of the lesson.
Younger students in particular should be aware that at the beginning of the lesson there is still an increased urge to move and therefore their warm-up programme should be varied according to the age group in question. The warm-up should always be announced as a preparation for the following tasks, so that the students know why they are doing warm-up program A or why it is program C this time. During the exercises there should be the possibility to act out individually.
Compulsive warming up in groups with given movement possibilities and goals can quickly lead to decreasing motivation in students. Self-realization, on the other hand, is always very well received by the students and motivates them to participate in the lessons. Warm-up games are always more popular in school than stubborn warm-up on the 400m track.
Games such as chain catching, bogeyman or come with me, run away are familiar to everyone, as they were played decades ago to warm up at school. According to the teacher’s objectives, the warm-up programme can also consist of a handball header game followed by group exercises with the ball. This is the case if the hourly goal is football or handball.
Everybody still knows the Federal Youth Games at school and liked them more or less. For the hours in which athletics is practiced in school lessons, a special warm-up program is also needed, which consists of shot put with reduced weight, easy jumping in or uphill runs. The general mobilization, which is achieved by a catching game or similar, should always precede such a teaching goal.
Since jogging uses more than just the leg muscles, the warm-up program should also be aimed at the upper half of the body. For the upper body, it is recommended to rotate the spine and circle the head and arms. For the legs, you can either use a classic stretching program, in which all the muscles of the leg are stretched for about six to eight seconds, starting from the muscles of the foot instep via the ankle joint.
A so-called muscle activation is another possibility to tune the leg muscles to the upcoming strain. For example, wide lunges with strong pushing back to the starting position or a so-called bear gait can be used. The stretching exercises always take place after running or the warm-up game.
A good warm-up before swimming contains both a part outside and a part inside the water. Beginning at the edge of the pool, where the air temperature is usually higher than the water temperature, the body can warm up faster. With circular movements the arms, shoulders and torso are loosened and activated.
Shaking out the legs several times also activates the leg muscles. In the water, this is followed by the so-called swim-in. At a relaxed pace, the distance covered is about 200 metres.
Particular attention is paid to correct swimming technique, relaxed breathing and finding the right swimming rhythm. The warm-up training should be a central part of any football training. Thousands of different warm-up exercises for football can be found on the Internet.
However, it is important to differentiate according to the age of the players and the associated demands on the warm-up. In the children’s area, the warm-up exercises do not necessarily have to be associated with football, but should convey the fun of the movement. Only with increasing age is it advisable to include more and more components of the actual game in the warm-up training.
Passing exercises, for example, ensure a secure feel for the ball right from the start of training and the combination with small competitions helps to maintain fun and motivation. Volleyball is one of the most popular team sports in the world and is played in clubs as well as in leisure time. A targeted warm-up program can help to protect against injuries and prepare the body for the upcoming strain in order to optimize performance.
For a training session of two hours, a warm-up program of 15 to 20 minutes should be sufficient. In volleyball, it is advisable to divide the warm-up into three phases: a general warm-up phase, a phase in which muscles and joints are mobilised and a volleyball specific phase. The general warm-up is mainly aimed at the cardiovascular system and can begin with a relaxed run.
After a certain amount of time, you can incorporate movements that you need in volleyball, such as arm circling. You can also change to a light hop run and change the intensity and execution of your running style. When warming up individual muscles and joints, it is advisable for the sport of volleyball to place particular emphasis on the shoulders, elbows, knees and hips.
But also the fingers and the ankle joint at the ankle should be included. The most common injuries occur in the shoulder or on the fingers. For the lower extremities, lunges are recommended, which are taken alternately.
This activates and strengthens the muscles of the legs. At the same time, the fists can be clenched and the fingers directly spread again to warm up the hands. In order to warm up the upper extremities, rotational movements in the shoulders are recommended.
For this exercise you can use a small dumbbell or another weight to help. Afterwards you can lie down on a mat and lay down on the side. The upper leg is lifted and placed on the floor alternately in front of and behind the lower leg.
Now follows the technique specific warming up with direct reference to the volleyball. These exercises consist mainly of platforming, hitting and digging. You can hit the ball against a wall or do this exercise in cooperation with partners.
The exercises can be practiced individually and one after the other, or in a platforming – hitting – digging rhythm with one or more partners. Afterwards the classical beating at the net can begin and thus the last exercises before the training or competition. Warming up can never completely protect against injuries, but it can reduce the risk of injury.
In badminton, as in many other sports, warm-up can be divided into a specific and a general approach. While the general warm-up is about warming up the body as a whole, without emphasizing specific muscles, the specific approach tries to do just that. Ideally, one should start with a non-specific warm up in order to prepare the muscles that are particularly required in badminton.
Special attention should be paid to activating the leg, arm, shoulder and trunk muscles. Warming up before a weight training has several advantages. The cardiovascular system is stimulated and the muscles warm up, which also improves the blood circulation in the muscles.
Better blood circulation in turn ensures that the muscle is better supplied with oxygen and nutrients. The warm-up program before strength training should definitely include a warm-up to get the cardiovascular system going. The length of the warm-up depends on the individual fitness and running speed.
As a rule, you will also notice when the body is warmed up and you can stop running. But the breaking-in does not have to last longer than ten minutes. After warming up, you should not jump directly onto the equipment and start with high weights.
Instead, you should apply the warming up to every strength exercise. Before each exercise, you get to grips with the equipment and do two or three warm-up sets with very low weights. You gradually approach the full load range of the actual training.
The light weights prepare the body well for the following load. A maximum of 50 percent of the later training weight should be used for the warm-up, otherwise the exhaustion before the actual training will be too great. Warming up in strength training is therefore structured slightly differently than in a team sport, for example.
In strength training, the second part of the warm-up always takes place before the actual training exercises, as different muscle groups are always used. You should also pay attention to what you did before the training. If you just got out of bed, the warm-up phase should take a little longer.
If you have already been actively moving or doing sports before, the warm-up phase can also be shorter. In addition, you should not take a break after the warm-up phase and before the actual training. The physical condition reached until then would otherwise decrease again and the warm-up would have been more or less in vain.
Before the training you should definitely avoid stretching exercises, because although they are used in gymnastics or athletics, stretching exercises are not very effective in strength training. You increase the mobility, but at the same time you reduce the efficiency of the muscle. In sports games, short sprints with changing speeds and direction are usually performed.
The warm-up should include these load parameters. Chain catch: Two or three children hold hands and try to catch the other children/young people hand in hand in a playroom/half of a hall. The winner is the last person who has not yet been caught.
Optionally, the chain can be split for 4, 8 etc. children. Seat catching: Except for one catcher and one prisoner, all children sit on the floor.
The prisoner sits on the floor somewhere next to a child. This makes the catcher a prisoner and the person sitting becomes the new catcher. More games: Depending on group size, one or two catcher are designated.
Each prisoner must remain in a certain body position until another one frees him again by a certain action. If all are captured, the game is over. For sports where the footwork should be trained specifically, two children can hold on to one hand and must try to touch the lower leg of the opponent with the free hand.
There is no limit to the variation. Sports with throwing and striking movements (tennis, handball …) should include exercises for the shoulder and trunk muscles. All types of balls can be used. The same applies to a gym-specific warm-up program.