Physical activity: warming up reveals its secrets

Physical activity: warming up reveals its secrets

Ten thousand steps and more. Every athlete knows that warming up is an integral part of training. It is an essential routine. It improves performance and the underlying physiological mechanisms, as demonstrated by a A 2015 literature review, led by the Australian Courtney McGowan team. The increase in muscle temperature is an important factor.

“It only takes ten to fifteen minutes of activity to raise muscle temperature by 3°C to 4°C”says Gaël Guilhem, Director of the Laboratory for Sport, Expertise and Performance at Insep, in the institution’s journal Sports reflection. Or, “When we increase muscle temperature by 1°C, muscle performance improves by 2%notes Sébastien Ratel, a teacher-researcher in exercise physiology at the University of Clermont-Auvergne. And the jump height can be increased by 6% to 8%”. “Generally, the warm-up takes fifteen to twenty minutes. The goal is to increase the temperature of the muscles and the diameter of the blood vessels, in order to facilitate the transport of oxygen from the blood to the working muscles.summarizes the researcher.

Knee lifts, buttock heels, quick steps… In addition to muscle groups, these movements also mobilize the joints. Warm-up period « oil” through the production of synovial fluid (produced by the synovial membrane). But is it likely to reduce injuries? “This is probably so because increasing the temperature of the muscles allows them to reduce their stiffness in the muscles and tissues.answers Sébastien Ratel. It is not recommended to do sports in the cold, without warming up, it seems that there is a greater stretching of muscles, sprains, ligaments may be affected. » Therefore, it is desirable to integrate dynamic exercises and stretching exercises and proprioception, i.e. perception of the position of different body parts, into the warm-up. This is even more important when the temperatures are low. Finally, each warm-up ends with speed exercises, short sprints, jumps, in order to get closer to the activity itself, the intensity that is the goal during the competition.

Effects in the first minutes

Sébastien Ratel’s team wanted to know if a standardized dynamic warm-up had the same effect on explosive performance depending on the child’s level of maturation. A study that will soon be published in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research they compared pre-pubescent children aged 8-11 and post-pubescent adolescents aged 15-16. Everyone practiced the same dynamic, classic warm-up in team sports (soccer, rugby, volleyball, basketball, etc.).

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