dynaMiC waRM-uPs fOR fOOTbaLL

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sports science with leigh brown

dynaMiC waRM-uPs                                                                                                    leigh Brown is currently the
                                                                                                                       Program coordinator for

                                                                                                                      rMIt University’s Physical
                                                                                                                    education degree and works
                                                                                                                      closely with the australian
                                                                                                                     council for Health, Physical
                                                                                                                      education and recreation
                                                                                                                     (acHPer) and the Victorian
The traditional warm up for football is an exercise not often                                                         government’s Kids go for
                                                                                                                     Your life campaign. He has
acknowledged by coaches and players as an important part of games                                                     been involved in elite sport
                                                                                                                    for over 20 years as a fitness
and training. Therefore, many teams use warm-ups incorrectly.                                                          advisor, coach and in the
                                                                                                                       talent identification area.

         he warm up method           consists of jogging forwards,         a variation of the traditional
         used by many teams          and in a straight line.               method. With more active
         usually includes an             the stretching performed          jogging and dynamic stretching
initial jog around the perimeter     is usually static stretching,         techniques, the athlete will be
of the field, followed by 10 - 15    with most stretches                   better prepared for the ensuing
minutes of static stretching.        performed slowly and with             session or game. In training
this is then followed by a hand-     the athletes either standing          situations, the athlete will
ful of drills, after which players   still or sitting on the ground.       spend less time in the warm-up
begin their training session or      this type of stretching does          phase, therefore allowing more
game. expert analysis of this        not prepare the muscle and            time for the main body of the
method has revealed major            connective tissue for the             session where all the learning
flaws in the preparation of play-    active contraction - relaxation       takes place.
ers for optimal performance.         process that will occur                   the initial jog is now
                                     with any running, jumping             replaced with a more dynamic
What	are	the	main	                   or kicking movements                  series of running exercises that
reasons	we		                         as required in a training             include regular alternation of
warm	up?                             or game situation.                    running forwards, backwards,
the main physiological reasons           While the players are             sideways, high knee drills, butt
for a warm up include;               stretching for between 5 – 10         flicks, crossovers, bounding,      • continue lane work, gradually
• to increase core                   minutes, the body is very efficient   jumps and progressive sprints.       lengthening the passing
   temperature,                      in removing excess body heat,         this component will only take      • Do some grid work 2 v 2,
• to increase heart rate and         so the small increase in body         2-4 minutes depending on the         3 v 3 etc
   blood flow to                     temperature from the initial jog      climate. It is expected that the   • commence training at a
   skeletal tissues,                 is quickly lost if the athlete does   athletes are breathing quite         familiar level and gradually
• to increase the activation         nothing but statically stretch        heavily at the end of this short     increase the intensity of
   of the central nervous            for this time. During winter          series of exercises. However,        the drills
   System (therefore increasing      and autumn this is of a major         some athletes will take a          • You could add a stretch for
   coordination, skill accuracy      concern as heat is removed            while to get used to this new        the hamstrings after #1,
   and reaction time),               quicker than in summer. We            warm up so a compromise              a quad stretch after #2 a
• to increase the rate and           know that many injuries occur         could be the following:              groin and calf stretch after
   force of muscle contraction,      at the beginning of training          • a warm-up sequence for             #3, holding for no more
• and to increase the elasticity     or a game due to inadequate               athletes who feel they need      than 30 seconds.
   of connective tissue              preparation. Poor warming up              to statically stretch could:
   (resulting in less incidence of   can be one factor attributed to       • Jog forward, backwards,          the key to this type of warm up
   musculotendinous injuries).       such injuries; a problem that             sideways                       is to make the dynamic portion
                                     athletes can easily correct.          • Do some running that makes       of the warm up progressive
the major criticism against the      Inadequate warming up can also            them puff (lane work, one      and to ensure that the limbs
‘traditional’ warm up is that it     lead to players not being ready           ball per three                 are taken through at least the
does not adequately prepare          to perform at their optimal level         is excellent)                  ranges of motion that will be
athletes for the demands             and often leads to opposing           • Do some lane work that           required in the game situation.
placed upon them in the              teams scoring early in a game.            includes passing the ball      the time for static stretching
ensuring session. generally,             research by leading                   along the ground, up in the    is after the game or training
the initial jog is at a pace that    sports scientists, including              air, to the side etc           situation as this leads to more
has a minimal effect on body         adrian Faccioni, suggest an           • Backwards running, high          rapid recovery for ensuing
temperature, and usually             alternative warm-up that is               knee bounds, heel flicks       sessions. SI

70   Soccer InternatIonal MagazIne                                                                                

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