The Importance of Warming up Before Your Game
Got a big game coming up? Don't forget to warm up before you play. Take a look at this guide to learn more about the importance of warming up for sports.
If so, we can't stress the importance of warming up enough! Prior to taking part in any athletic activity, you should always begin by putting your body through a complete warm-up to get your muscles ready to go.
Whether you warm up with members of your team or warm up on your own, you'll give yourself a better chance to perform up to your potential when you stretch your body out. You'll also enjoy a number of other benefits during the heat of battle.
Here are some of the advantages of warming up before exercising as well as some sample warm-up drills that you can do before your next athletic competition.
Gets Blood Moving Through Your Body
If you're sitting down at a desk or hanging out on the couch reading this right now, you probably don't have a whole lot of blood pumping throughout the different muscles in your body. In most cases, only about 20 percent of your blood will flow to your muscles when you're at rest.
Because of that, most of the small blood vessels inside of your muscles remain closed when you're resting. There isn't very much oxygen making its way throughout your muscles.
When you warm up by going for a brisk walk or even a light jog, that gradually starts to change. Slowly, your small blood vessels will open up, and more and more blood and oxygen will move through your muscles.
After just a few minutes of warming up, about 80 percent of your body's blood will begin passing through your muscles. That will give your muscles all the oxygen they need as you segue over to taking part in a game.
Stretches Your Muscles Out
Putting your body through a brief warm up will do more than just supply your muscles will blood and oxygen. It'll also warm your muscles up and allow you to stretch them out prior to your game.
Some athletes will show up for a game and immediately start to stretch without doing anything else first. But it's a good idea to begin by walking or jogging to get your blood flowing first.
Once your blood gets moving, your muscles' temperature will increase and allow you to do more effective stretching. By stretching everything from your arms to your back to your legs, you can prepare each major muscle group in your body to compete at a high level.
Reduces the Chance of Injury
By getting your blood flowing and stretching out your muscles, you'll ensure that your body is ready to go once your game starts. You won't have to spend the first few minutes of the game getting your body loose.
You also won't have to worry about sustaining an injury due to your muscles being too tight out on the court or field. There are quite a few injuries that you can potentially sustain while playing a game if you don't warm up first.
It's not uncommon to see athletes pull or strain certain muscles like hamstrings and calves when they don't warm up. In some cases, these injuries can sideline them for days and weeks at a time.
By warming up, you can prevent injuries from happening in the first place. You can also keep tabs on which of your muscles might be sore heading into a game so that you can monitor them throughout a contest.
Allows You to Mentally Prepare
When you're warming up for a game, you should be doing more than just focusing on stretching. It would help if you also took the time you use to warm up to focus your mind on the challenge that lies ahead.
You can mentally prepare for a game by:
- Imagining yourself have an excellent performance
- Telling yourself, you're going to play at a high level
- Going over specific plays and strategies that you're going to use once a game starts
Your warmup routine gives you all the time you need to get your mind ready for the game. Consider putting on a pair of headphones so that you can slip into your own world while you warm up.
How to Warm Up Before a Game
Now that you understand the importance of warming up, you're likely thinking about putting a warm-up routine into place. Before you do, you should learn about some of the best ways to warm yourself up before to a game.
Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Start with a brisk walk or a light jog to get your blood pumping and your heart beating. You can also ride a bike slowly if you prefer
- Try some dynamic stretches on for size. Rather than holding static stretches, move your arms in circles, kick your legs one at a time, and do whatever else you can think of to get your body into motion
- Move on to working a few static stretches into the mix to really stretch out your muscles. Touch your toes or hold a hamstring stretch for 10 to 15 seconds
- Practice sport-specific movements to get yourself game-ready
You can, of course, customize your warmup routine to fit your needs. If, for example, you find that your legs are always tight at the start of a game, you might want to focus on them more when you warm up.
But whatever you do, make sure you spend at least 10 to 20 minutes warming up prior to each and every game you play. You'll notice the difference once a game starts.
Don't Underestimate the Importance of Warming Up
It doesn't matter if you're a professional athlete, a weekend warrior, yoga expert or someone who likes to come off the bench every few months to participate in a sport.
You cannot underestimate the importance of warming up at any point. If you do, you could very well pay the price for it later. You won't play your best, and you could even end up getting injured when you don't make warming up a priority. These are warming up tips applied to every game, but if you look for precisely Badminton game tips and exercises, here are those.
Do you want more tips to help you excel on the court or field? Please read our blog to learn what to eat before and after your next big game.