Put warm back in warm-up


In my opinion warm-up is one of the most important components of training. It is something you must before each training session. It is a precious time period that has a very specific objective of preparing the body for the subsequent demand of the training of the training session. Warm-up is the bridge from their normal daily activities to the training session. It must be thoroughly planned, just as the training session is planned. If you don’t think warm-up is important start adding up the time spend in warm-up, 10 to 20 minutes a session multiplied by the number of training days, represents a significant time commitment. If for no other reason than this it is important how much a warm-up can contribute to overall fitness in the course of a training year. It is a given that warm-up must raise core temperature and elevate heart rate. This is quite easily accomplished with an active and dynamic warm-up. For me warm-up is another key coaching opportunity. It is a time to analyze basic movements, to teach and reinforce good patterns and as previously mentioned accrue a cumulative training effect. Warm-up must address the common injuries and the stress area in the sport. I also take into consideration time constraints, space constraints and number of coaches available to help. Competition warm-up is not always the same as training warm-up, you must also have a warm-up routine for the bench player in the game and another warm-up for halftime of a game before the second half. Stretching is not warm-up, although some active stretching should be done in the later third of warm-up. Rolling around on foam roller is not warm-up. Wallowing around on a physioball is not warm-up. Get up and get moving. Get the nervous system stimulated; get ready for the training session. In today’s world warm-up looks a little like physical education class because this is the time to address fundamental movements that prepare them for specific sport movements. The cooldown is the place in the session to place static stretches and use of foam rollers. That is the time when I want a calming effect.
Yes these are my opinions, but they are grounded in best practice and sound sports science research. I have been using these concepts in warm-up with athletes in both individual and team sports for 35 plus years. I tried the static stretching route when I first started coaching. I did not like what I saw, but I give it a full shot for three years before going back to an active dynamic warm-up. I am a coach not a personal trainer, I do not have make my clients happy by chatting with them for ten minutes while they stretch, I have to get my athletes ready in the time alloted. Once again I implore you to think.
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Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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