There is no doubt that time spent on warming up and cooling down will improve an athlete’s level of performance and accelerate the recovery process needed before and after training or competition. As a result, the coach must encourage the athlete to regard the warm up and cool down as an essential part of both the training session and competition itself.
Muscle fitness is thought to be directly related to muscle injury and therefore the warm up should be aimed at reducing muscle stiffness.
Warming up should at least consist of the following:
e.g. for a runner:
Dynamic stretches are more appropriate to the warm up as they help reduce muscle stiffness.
What are the benefits of the warm up?
Performance may be improved, as an appropriate warm up result in an:
Cooling down should exist of the following:
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.
What are the benefits of the cool down?
An appropriate cool down will:
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