What is warming up?

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It is the group of activities or exercises that prepare the body for more intense exercise.


General warm-up: general activities to warm up the whole body.

Specific warm-up: exercises that target a specific part of the body.

They are determined by the activity that is to follow.

We warm up:

 To avoid or prevent injuries: sprains, strains and broken fibres.

 To prepare the body and mind for more intense physical activity.

 To prevent injuring the cardiorespiratory system.

 To improve all levels of physical performance (strength, speed, endurance (stamina), flexibility, agility, etc.).


These objectives are achieved because:

Physically, warming up:

a) Activates our cardiovascular system.

b) Activates our respiratory system.

c) Activates our muscular system.

Psychologically, warming up:

a) Decreases anxiety

b) To psychologically prepare for gradual adaptation to physical effort.

b) Increases motivation


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Different types of warm-up are done in physical and sport activities.

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A) Depending on the activity that is going to be done afterward:

• Training: it is one further part of the session, which is used to do specific tasks. It also serves to prepare you for the main part of the session.

• Competition: physical and psychological preparation to compete.

• P.E. session: introductory or preparatory phase of the main session, where you work on the goals of the session to follow.

B) Depending on performance:

• Passive warm-up: rest, showering, bathing, having a hydromassage, sauna, massage, relaxation, diathermy (electromagnetic currents), sleep. It is normally done in addition to an active warm-up.

• Active warm-up: doing physical and sports activities that are adapted to or different from the activity or event to follow. This type of warm-up should form part of al training programmes and be applied every time you do a session.

 General: oriented to and valid for any type of physical or sports activity. Based on general exercises to physically prepare all of the systems of the organism and the most important muscle groups.

 Specific: aimed at specific muscle groups. These exercise are predominantly related to the sporting activity that will follow. It uses specialized exercises aimed at fine tuning the neuromuscular system and practising techniques for coordination exercises related to specific muscle movements and/or any complex skills that need to be repeated.


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Check your learning

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The warming up is a myth.

Generally speaking, there are two kind of warming up: general and specific.

General warm-up: exercises that target a specific part of the body.

Why do we warm up? To avoid or prevent injuries: sprains, strains and broken fibres.

Todos los materiales empleados en esta unidad formativa son de creación propia o con licencias de distribución Creative Commons.


Material realizado por los profesores Antonio Moreno Gómez y Pedro José Guerrero Celdrán del IES Miguel de Cervantes de Murcia, bajo licencia Creative Commons cita al autor, no comercial y material reutilizable.