ABSTRACT: Pre-exercise warm-up is a very important factor for individuals everywhere to understand. Many believe that the warm-up idea is a false hope in preventing injuries however this is false. Warming up the muscles before exercise helps warm up tissues and enzymes that are required for muscle recruitment and in turn allow the muscle to stretch further and help prevent possible injuries on muscles.
When designing exercise programs, many factors and variables need to be considered before creating the actual exercise matrix. It is very important to consider each individual and create each program around that individual’s goal; however each program should follow a set of constants. The constants are the principles of the exercise program design itself. These principles can then be manipulated to reflect the desired response from each individual. The basis of the exercise begins through a series of steps that firstly begin with the warm-up. Many individuals fail to understand the importance of a warm-up which may consist of general, specific, performance, and functional warm-up.1
The warm-up or progressive preparation is based on the understanding of kinetics which is the study of motion and its causes.1 When objects move under the constraint of resistance caused by friction, tension, and other constraints they do not have the same ability to accelerate. The human body works in this way providing cold tissue to be less pliable, cellular enzymes to be less active and neural conduction to be less efficient.2 In order for the body to perform at its optimal level it must first be warmed up.
Most people understand that warm-ups should precede the intense exercise activity, however many fail to understand the scientific reasoning for this sequence. As the name implies, warm-ups are designed to increase tissue temperature prior to engaging in elevated levels of physical work.3
The increased body temperature is done through several proposed physiological mechanisms. Some of these processes are increasing the speed of muscle action and relaxation.4 Increasing muscle temperature facilitates the faster transfer of gases at the cellular level, increases blood flow through vasodilation and opening of dormant capillaries, lowers lactate levels, increases oxygen uptake and the energy metabolism within the muscle.5 Some may suggest that a warm-up does not decrease the possibility of injury however many professionals will agree that the performance of a warm-up will reduce the injury risk.6 This is based on the fact that muscle tissue pliability increases as muscle temperature rises and in turn the neural response time is faster, which allows the muscle tendon to be lengthened without severe stress.7
There are four main types of warm-ups individuals usually chose from depending on the certain activity being done. First is the general warm-up and is characterized by gross motor activation, designed to increase blood flow and...