Warm Up and Cool Down


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02/03/2012 15:40 RssIcon

Warm up

When planning training sessions or preparing to compete in an activity coach’s should plan and give time for warming up. A warm up increases the athlete’s body temperature and increases the blood flow to the muscles.

Benefits of a warm up

  • Increases muscle temperature
  • Prepares the body and mind for physical activity
  • Increase blood flow in the muscles
  • Allows time to check for injuries
  • Delays early fatigue
  • Prepares the body for using oxygen effectively during physical activity

The warm up phase in a training session should be made up of the following:

Pulse Raising Activities

Getting the heart rate up and getting the cardiovascular system working.Example of a pulse raising activity: 5-10 minute walk or light jog.

Mobilising of the joints

Increasing mobility of the joints and moving all the joints through the full range of motion. Example: arm circles, ankle and wrist rotations.


Stretching is done to reduce the risk of injury. See a full article below on “The importance of stretching”.

Sports Specific Warm up

Drills being used in the warm up activities should be sports specific. Example: playing football the warm up should have warm up drills such as kicking and passing the ball.

Cool Down

The cool down phase of a training session or post competition is as important as warming up. Cooling down allows the body and muscles to return gradually to a resting state. The main reason why cooling down is important is, cooling down prevents the building up of lactic acid in the muscles.

Benefits of a cool down

  • Lowers the heart rate and body temperature
  • Releases tension that could build lactic acid
  • Brings the body back to its resting state
  • Can reduce the risk of injuries occurring

The cool down phase should be made up of the following:

Pulse Raising Activities

Activities that will bring the heart rate back to normal and bring the body temperature down. Example: slowly walking around.

Passive Stretching

Slow stretches to prevent stiffness. See a full article below on “The importance of stretching”.


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