Warm-up is defined as that set of tasks or exercises that are performed before sports performance in order to adapt the athlete’s body to the subsequent competitive demand. The objective is to minimize the possible risk of injury during it, in addition to psychologically creating a predisposition to exercise . Therefore, the warm-up in hockey before a game will serve us for 3 improvement objectives of the:
Warming up in team sports
We cannot ignore that the warm-up will depend on the type of sport that is carried out. For example, a marathon runner will not warm up the same as a hockey player. The first will do a warm-up very oriented to muscle activation and the tuning of metabolic systems, while the second will have to perform a specific tuning for the game.
Therefore, we can differentiate two moments in the hockey player’s warm-up: the general warm-up and the specific warm-up.
Within this first part of the hockey warm-up we will include exercises aimed at activating physiological systems and preventing injuries. The order of the exercises may vary depending on the preferences of the trainer. Typically, this part of the warm-up will include the following exercises:
Continuous running at a medium pace: it should not be excessively long, maximum 3-4 minutes. Dynamic flexibility and joint mobility exercises . Individual part of warm-up: allow 2-3 minutes for each player to focus on exercises that they need more individually. Stretching the hamstrings, warming up areas with previous injuries, wide range of motion, isometric strength exercises, etc. The flexibility dilemma
Stretching has always caused controversy within the warm-up. At present, it is considered that there is a clear benefit, especially in reducing the risk of injury, in the application of exercises aimed at improving flexibility. Players who do not stretch during their warm-ups have been shown to have 2.6 times more chances of injury than those who do. However, we must differentiate between two types of stretching, static and dynamic.
The static stretching tend to adopt a certain position and hold that level creates tension muscle and tendon for a period of time (20-40 seconds). Some studies have shown the loss of explosiveness with the use of this type of stretching in moments prior to sports performance. Currently, it is advisable to use them at the end of the activity, during the cool down.
The dynamic stretching seek joint mobility and fiber elongation by gentle, controlled movements. It is advisable to use exercises similar to the sport and to perform them before the specific part of the warm-up. Performance improvements have been shown when using these types of exercises within the warm-up. We leave you some examples by clicking here.
How long should the hockey warm-up last?
This section is very important. As we structure the training session, the warm-up must also be planned in terms of which exercises to perform and for how long. This not only helps to achieve optimal physical state, but also makes it a mental routine when approaching the game.
A study carried out on female U21 field hockey players shows that the optimal warm-up should last between 25-30 minutes. It should include low intensity exercises (10-15 minutes) and others of medium and high intensity. In addition, it is reflected that times greater than those marked would suppose an accumulated fatigue not favorable at the beginning of the game.