Are Warm-Ups Worth the Effort?

Most physiotherapists, personal trainers and coaches firmly believe that a good warm-up is essential to reduce your chance of injury, and prepare your body for the activities to follow. But has this injury reduction benefit actually been proven in science?

Warm Up
In a recent research review published in The Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, academics from Monash University in Melbourne reviewed studies that looked at this question. Surprisingly, over the past 40 years, only a handful studies have looked at the injury reduction benefit of a warm-up.
Of the five studies examined, three supported using a warm-up to reduce injury, whilst the remaining two did not.
The Monash researchers went on to conclude that:

  • The three positive studies emphasised general exercise to increase body temperature, while the two negative studies focused on stretching warm-ups.
  • There wasn’t enough evidence to either conclusively endorse or recommend against routine pre-exercise warm-ups to prevent sports injuries. However, the weight of evidence suggested that warm-ups involving general exercise did decrease injury risk.
  • Further support for warm-ups comes from a more recent 2008 Norwegian study. This concluded that a warm-up programme reduced the risk of severe injuries, overuse injuries, and injuries overall.

Despite the lack of research material, we still suggest that you complete a thorough pre-exercise warm-up, which should involve:

  • 5-20 minutes in total.
  • General activity to increase your basic body temperature, followed by some more specific range-of-motion stretching that replicates the events to follow.
  • A series of balance-related activities to prepare your sensory receptors for the tasks to follow.
  • Gradually increasing intensity that becomes more specific and “game-like” as the training session or game approaches.

For assistance with your pre-exercise warm-up talk to one of our physiotherapists at BodyFit Howick.

Physiotherapy during the World Cup

Here at BodyFit Physiotherapy we are passionate about rugby and are always here to help. Alex Blazhevskyiy, our principal physiotherapist has extensive experience of working with rugby teams and rugby players in general helping them recover from their niggles and getting them back on the field safely. He also has special interest in sports physiotherapy.

We would like to welcome everyone who may need our help. If you have any rugby or other injuries that need to be looked at please feel free to give us a call to make an appointment to be seen by an expert physiotherapist. Mention this article when booking your appointment and get $10 off your initial visit only during the World Cup (this offer expires on 26/10/2011). This is our way of making this event feel even more special.

Are you wearing the right shoes for your sport?

We are right at the start of another winter sports season and it’s time to think what we can do to prevent those nasty injuries from interrupting your game. One of the easiest ways to minimize the risk of injury is to make sure you have the right footwear for the conditions. It is still summer and the ground is reasonably dry. Most people will think that this makes playing sport safer as it prevents slipping and falling. However, it might not always be the case. When the playing surface is too dry and hard it makes the foot stick harder to the ground. This is known as “shoe-surface friction”. As you know, many team sports such as rugby, soccer, league, netball, basketball and others, often require the athletes to suddenly change direction while running at a high speed. This is when your shoe’s ability to get unstuck from the ground becomes vitally important. Many knee injuries occur when a player makes a sudden directional change with a foot being fixed to the ground and not being able to be freed from the surface at the right time. This causes excessive torsional (or twisting) forces in the knee often resulting in severe ligament tears. Some of these knee ligament injuries can take months to rehab and may often require surgery. Choosing the right footwear design will help you reduce the risk of these injuries and avoid lengthy time off the field required for full rehabilitation. [Read more...]

Mt Wellington Physiotherapy Located at
CLM Fitness, 45C Mt Wellington Highway, Mt Wellington, Auckland.
Phone: 09-5328942