One of the biggest things I see athletes, both traditional sport athletes and strength athletes, take for granted is the importance of a proper warmup. You’ll find many athletes, especially younger athletes, skipping warmups or not putting the correct intent into warmups. Consequently, they will go straight into their lifting or sporting session. Some of the benefits of a proper warmup that they are missing out on include: increased body temperature by increasing heart rate and therefore blood flow, increasing blood flow to muscles allows for a more prepared and stronger muscle, and greater flexibility and mobility. When athletes skip warmup, they are not only missing out on all the benefits previously explained they are increasing their likelihood of injury.
Warmups are also a great opportunity for athletes to address any minor injuries that could use some “fine-tuning” as well as opportunity to work on specific skills that they may be lacking. An example of “fine-tuning” a minor injury that I use quite often is how I prepare for upper body days while addressing my bicep tendinitis. My bicep issue likely comes from my lack of forearm mobility. Therefore, I will drill forearm mobility while preforming my total body warmup, better preparing my bicep for an upper body day. As for attacking for specific skills, if one struggles with a part of a movement, they can use warmup time to address that part of the movement. For example, if during the strongman event Log Clean and Press, you find yourself really struggling with the clean. During your warmup it would be very beneficial to perform log clean only with an empty log or very light weight. Drill this part of the exercise alone allows you to just focus on that one part of the exercise. You will likely improve on that one part of the exercise as the weight increases.
In any case, athletes of all sports should prioritize their warmup time. Warmups provide great benefit to the human body and there will increase your performance within your sport.
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