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Injury Prevention > Warm Up

A warm-up period is important prior to any football fitness or skills session. The warm-up raises the body temperature by circulating blood to the working muscles providing oxygen and fuel to prepare for more strenuous exercise. The heart rate and metabolic rate increases so that energy is released faster and muscles become more elastic and less prone to strains or tears. In summary, the reasons for a warm-up are:

  • To increase heart rate, blood flow, deep muscle temperature, respiration rate, and viscosity of joint fluids
  • To increase the elasticity of the muscles
  • To rehearse an exercise prior to increasing the exercise intensity
  • To get mentally prepared for the exercise to follow

Simply increasing the heat within the muscle will result in a greater range of motion. The specific element includes activities that are similar to the movements of the pending drill or activities that are likely to occur during a game.

Passing drills and multi-directional agility drills are examples of specific warm-up activities prior to a game.

Gradually increasing the intensity of drills during a warm-up will reduce the chances of injury - don't start a session with a 'full-on' game of 5-a-side!
Centre cone drill (above) players dribble the ball to the centre cone then break left or right, depending on the coaches command. Players can pass from the centre cone to the next player waiting at the cone or dribble the ball to the player.