What is involved in a warm up and Cool down?
Muscle stiffness is thought to be directly related to muscle injury and therefore the warm up should be aimed at reducing this muscle stiffness.
Warming up should at least consist of the following:
•5 to 10 minutes jogging – to increase body temperature
•10 to 15 minutes dynamic stretching exercises – to help reduce muscle stiffness
•10 to 15 minutes general and event specific drills – preparation for the session or competition
Cooling down should consist of the following:
•5 to 10 minutes of jogging/walking – this helps to decrease the body temperature and remove waste products from the working muscles
•5 to 10 minutes static stretching exercises
Dynamic stretches are more appropriate to the warm up as they help reduce muscle stiffness. Static stretching exercises do not reduce muscle stiffness.
Static stretches are more appropriate to the cool down as they help muscles to relax, realign muscle fibres and re-establish their normal range of movement. These stretches should be held for approximately 10 seconds.