Australian Sports Commission -
Junior Sport Factsheet
There can never be too much emphasis
placed upon the importance of warm- up and cool-down routines. The
warm-up prepares the body for the proceeding activity, as well as
helping to prevent injury to muscles, which are more susceptible to
injury when cold. The cool-down helps the body clear lactic acid that
builds up during any activity. Less lactic acid means less soreness and
stiffness the next day!
What is the ideal warm-up?
The ideal warm-up will depend on the sport and the level of competition.
The warm-up should incorporate the muscle groups and activities that are
similar to those that are required during training or competition. The
intensity of the warm-up should begin at a low level gradually building
to the level of intensity required during training or competition.
For young people, 5-10 minutes would be enough. However in cold weather
the duration of the warm-up should be increased. The warm-up aims to:
What about the
Many neglect the cool-down at the end of a session. It is just as
important, especially after vigorous exercise because the body needs
time to slow down and its ian important step in aiding recovery.
The cool-down can be the same sort of exercise as the warm-up but with a
walk substituted for the run. Stretching after activity helps to ensure
maximum flexibility, relax the muscles, return them to their resting
length and helps develop long-term attitudes to maintaining healthy
Stretching activities should be included in the overall warm-up and
involve all muscle groups that are going to be used in the activities to
come. Stretches should move the muscle groups through the full range of
movement required in the activity being performed.
Some rules when stretching:
- warm-up prior to stretching
- stretch before and after
- stretch all muscle groups that
will be involved in the activity
- stretch gently and slowly
- never bounce or stretch
- stretch to the point of
tension or discomfort, never pain
- do not hold your breath when
stretching; breathing should be slow and easy.