Posted on August 20, 2021 by Kate Halsall
The four ultimate goals of a warm up is to prepare physically and mentally for a workout, injury prevention and performance enhancement. Therefore the warm up should be thorough and relevant. A good way of remembering how to structure an efficient warm up is by following the RAMP method. Following this method and having a well designed warmup can help to prepare for the demands of a workout and promotes the prevention of injuries occurring.
R – Raise
A – Activate
M – Mobilise
P – Potentiate
First of all, the ‘warm up’ period is also known as the ‘R’ in ‘RAMP’, for “Raise”. This can consist of 3-5 minutes of slow aerobic activity with the overall goal being to raise the heart rate and to increase blood flow, muscle temperature and joint fluid. It is often thought to be best to perform sport specific activity similar to what the workout/ session will consist of; therefore movement patterns are similar, ultimately preparing the body for more intense demands of that movement pattern.
Next is “Activate” and “Mobilise”. Both of these phases can be completed together. The aim is to activate key muscle groups and mobilise key joints and ranges of motion which will be used throughout the session, enhancing overall performance. Typical movements can often include:
· Banded work
· Squats & luges
· Balances & core work
· Mobility such as flexion, extension, rotations
Movements should be chosen based upon the overall goals and specific needs. For example, if hips are often tight prior to squatting, it’s good to focus on some mobilisation around that area. It is also important to consider the movements of the session to ensure selected movements are specific and relevant.
Finally, the “Potentiation” phase focuses on the intensity of activities. This phase aims to increase intensity similar to the overall workout, therefore the drill / exercises chosen should be specific to the overall workout. For example a leg session potentiation exercise may be 2 sets of 3 reps counter movement jumps to end the warm up. An example warm up for lower body is here. For an intense upper body session, it could be 2 sets of 3 medicine ball slams. Here’s a previous upper body warm up for you.
When planning your workouts, just as much attention should be given on the warmups too. Research now shows well designed warm ups reduce injury risk and enhance overall performance so if your goal is to improve in sessions then the warm up is where you should start. A warm up can be anywhere from 10-20 minutes, making sure its not too taxing but thorough enough to get the blood flowing and to be mentally prepared to have a great workout!