Best Warm-Up Isn’t Just Easy Running
Monday, 13 August 2012
Neuromuscular-activating exercises reduce injury, researchers say
By Scott Douglas
A new British research review adds weight to the contention that a good warm-up before a race or hard workout involves more than easy running.
In the study, researchers reviewed previous studies on whether adding activities that engage athletes' neuromuscular systems reduces lower-leg injuries. The researchers used a broad definition of such activities, including dynamic stretching, targeted range-of-motion exercises and sport-specific agility drills; what the activities have in common is that they require communication between your central nervous system and muscles in a way that gentle jogging doesn't. The researchers found that including the neuromuscular-activitating exercises reduced incidence of injury in several sports.
These types of activities are common elements of most elites' warm-ups to better prepare their bodies to run fast. The British study shows that, in addition to helping you to run faster on any given day, the exercises are helpful long-term by reducing injury risk. Jay Johnson, who coached Brent Vaughn to a national cross country title in 2011, explains how and why to add these types of exercises to the traditional pre-workout or -race jog in this Running Times article.
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