An effective warm up should be part of every athletes training regime to prepare the body for activity and prevent injury. But what is an effective warm up? Let’s take a look at a definition:
“A program of gradually increasing activity to raise muscle temperature and heart rate in preparation for more strenous exercise”Medical Dictionary for Health Professionals and Nursing, 2012
Taking into account this definition a warm up is a preperatory activity, which to be effective should get the athlete ready for the specific activity in which they are about to engage.
BUT WHY WARM UP?
- Increased blood flow, oxygen transport to the working muscles
- Increased body and muscle temperature
- Increased energy output, efficiency
- Faster, more specific nerve firing to the working muscles
- Faster muscle contractions
- Reduced risk of injury
In simple a warm up makes you faster, stronger, more powerful, have better reaction time and allows you to exercise longer, whilst reducing your risk of injury.
THE RAMP PROTOCOL
RAMP stands for Raise, Activate, Mobilise and Potentiate and is the most scientifically proven warm up to help prepare the body for competition, commonly used in a strength and conditioning context by elite athletes all around the world
Raising the body temperature, heart rate, respiration rate and joint viscosity, with the goal of increasing blood flow
Activating the key muscle groups that are going to be used in the activity
Mobilising, increasing the range of motion required for the session, usually through dynamic stretching
Priming the body ready for the specific activity, fine tuning any movements about to be performed
DO I HAVE TO RAMP?
RAMP is sequenced in a way that all of the phases build on one another, progressively warming up the athlete. It’s not essential to follow the RAMP sequence exactly, for example, mobilise can be completed before activate.
There is also a lot of crossover between phases. For instance some activities may activate, mobilise and potentiate, as an example a deep pause squat activating the quadriceps whilst mobilising the hips, and if completed before a leg session preparing the body for heavier squats to come.
To conclude, RAMP is well known in the world of strength and conditioning as a protocol for effective warming up. It’s not essential to follow the RAMP protocol exactly, but make sure to include exercises that raise the body temperature, activate and mobilise the muscles and prepare the body for the specific activity to be completed. Trust us when we say you’ll notice the benefits and massively reduce your risk of injury.