Warming Up and Ankle Injury Prevention 

Warm ups – you know the drill!

They are highly recommended, you know you should be doing it, but who has the time?! If it was up to you (and it is!) then you wouldn’t be doing them at all, instead jumping straight into your sweat session or sport activity. 

Sure, it may not be the most fun thing to prioritise, but prioritise warm ups you should. Getting your body physically and mentally ready for exercise is crucial to prevent injury. 

So, what is a warm up?

Essentially, warming up involves stretches and movements that help to prepare you mentally and physically for sport or exercise.

As the name suggests, warming up gets your body ready for strenuous activity by increasing your body’s core and muscle temperature. This helps to make your muscles loose and flexible.

Warming up also increases your heart and respiratory rate, which in turn increases blood flow and the delivery of oxygen to your muscles.

The key to warming up is injury prevention. 

How should I warm up?

Although stretching is a key component of a warm up, there are other key steps that you should consider, including:

Light physical activity 

This could be walking, jogging, skipping or easy swimming. You should do this for about 5 to 10 minutes. You know you’ve done it right when you have a light sweat at the end!

The point of this step is to increase blood flow to your muscles, as well as increase muscle temperature allowing for a more effective stretch. 

Static stretching 

This basically means that you hold your body in stretches that target your main muscle groups for at least 10 to 15 seconds per stretch. 

Stretching helps to lengthen muscles and tendons, allowing your limbs a better range of movement. This is extremely important to prevent injury.

Dynamic stretching

This involves controlled bouncing or swinging motions to a certain part of your body and is a great way to get your body ready for your particular activity. After these stretches, you should feel physically and mentally ready to exercise! 

It is important to note that if you are unsure about dynamic stretching, you should get some tips and recommendations from an exercise physiologist or physiotherapist. If you need any help, make sure to get in touch with us to book an appointment

Don’t forget about sport specific warm up!

If you are about to play a specific sport, it can also be important to do a sport specific warm up. This involves completing activities that relate to the type of sport or exercise you will be doing. We would recommend doing this after static stretching and before dynamic stretching for the best outcome. This makes sure your body is ready for the demands of your training. 

How long should I warm up for?

This really depends on the level of commitment to your sport and exercise. For people who enjoy recreational sport and exercise to improve health and fitness, then 5 to 10 minutes should usually suffice. If you are a high-level athlete, then your warm up time needs to be more – at least 15 to 20 minutes. 

The research and benefits

There are so many benefits to warming up. Not only do you prevent potential injuries, but your training is more effective. 

Research shows that individuals who warm up have a lower risk of injury. This is due to the fact that warming up can help to stabilise your muscles, improve your coordination and enhance your range of motion.

Some studies have also found that warm ups which target your specific sport or exercise result in a 79% improvement in performance. 

How can Every Bodies Physio help you warm up?

If you train and play sport regularly and consistently engage in a proper warm-up you will reduce the risk of injury. At Every Bodies Physio, we believe that warming up is a really important way to improve your exercise and athletic abilities. 

We also want to help you to prevent future injuries as much as possible. If you are not warming up properly or effectively then get in touch with us now here. We can give you some much needed advice, as well an effective warm up program to target the specific sport or exercise you enjoy.