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Emily’s Football Focus - Warm-Ups for Footballers

Why are warm ups important?

The warm up before a training session or match is vital for several reasons, the main ones being:

  • Increased Blood Flow: A good warm-up increases your heart rate and blood flow to your muscles, preparing the body for the activity it is about to do

  • Enhanced Flexibility: A good warm up increases joint mobility and muscle flexibility, allowing for a greater range of motion and therefore less chance of stiffness

  • Injury Prevention: prepares your muscles, tendons, and ligaments, reducing the risk of strains, sprains, and tears contributed to by an inadequate warm up

  • Improved Performance: Not only does a good warm up prepare you physically, but also mentally - it should mimic the demands of a football game!

What makes a good warm up and what should be included?

A good warm up can be split into 3 phases, known by the RAMP acronym:

  • R = Raise

  • You need to raise your heart rate and body temperature by performing light activities with or without the ball

  • AM = Activate and Mobilise 

  • You need to engage specific muscles needed for football and mobilise the key joints

  • Dynamic stretching is a good place to start here

  • P = Potentiate

  • You need to ‘prime’ yourself for the session or match with football specific actions

  • Usually will include high-intensity football drills that reach the same intensity of the football that is about to be played

How long should a warm up last?

To make sure that you include all of the elements mentioned above, a typical warm up will probably last around 15 minutes to ensure sufficient preparation for the game or training session ahead. It is recommended to finish a warm up as close to kick-off as possible to make sure that the effects transfer to the the session. If you are a substitute on the bench, modified versions can be completed every so often throughout the game to ensure that you are always ready if you are called on! Similarly, a short re-warm up of explosive activities at the end of half time can help to improve performance in the second half of the game.

How can a Sports Therapist help with a warm up?

Sports therapists have an in-depth understanding of the physical demands required for sport, so therefore have the ability to tailor a warm-up to suit this. In addition, they are able to tailor a warm-up specific to a player based on their previous injury history and physical characteristics, for example. Combined with a good knowledge of sports injuries and how they occur, they are the ideal people to advise on correct warm-ups!

Here at SV Sports Therapy, we can help footballers and athletes to devise an effective and tailored warm-up strategy, taking into account individual factors such as previous injury history. Not only do we treat and manage injuries, but we can also help to prevent them!

Give us a call to book in with Emily on 0203 4944343 or email or you can also book online here. We would love to serve you!


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