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RAMP – 4 Steps For An Effective Warm Up

Posted on 29th November 2018 by

We often get asked what’s the best way to ‘warm up’ before exercising or playing sports. Holding stretches is certainly a thing of the past, and hopefully this is no longer part of people’s warm up routines! But what should you be doing to warm up?

A warm up is basically exactly what it says on the tin – warming up your body! It can be an integral part of your exercise or sport, it certainly doesn’t have to be a totally separate thing.

We’ve found a great way to remember what you should be including in your warm up and it’s called the RAMP principle.

You can follow the RAMP principle for the most effective warm up for your sport or exercise. Here’s Sports Therapist Tom giving a bit of a demo.

R – raise your body temperature and heart rate. Spend 5-10 minutes doing light activity.

A – activate the key muscles involved in the activity. Especially lower back and pelvic area and core stabilisers.

M – mobilise all the joints involved in the sport or activity.

P – potentiate (perform sport specific movements to prepare the body for activity).These would be sub-maximal lifts (weight lifting) or plyometrics (jumping) for example

Read More

How to warm up for running 

Warming up for running, do I really need to?

Warming up for sport – what to consider 


 


Warming Up for Sport: Things to Consider

Posted on 9th November 2016 by

Warming up for sport is important. It prepares you for the movements you intend to undertake, getting you ready to perform to your best from the offset. Exercise warm ups are intended to safely get us ready for sport and reduce the risk of injury.

Next time you’re warming up think of the following:

The movements of your sport: You want to replicate them in your warm up but at a lower intensity and building them in gradually. i.e. if your sport is weightlifting, you would begin with half squats, repeating several times and gradually increase the depth of the squat until you reach full squatting position.

Dynamic stretching: Your warm-up should include movements which will gradually stretch your muscles. The walking lunge is an example, starting with small lunges, repeating several times before increasing the stride length of your lunge. Static stretches where you hold a muscle in position should be avoided during the warm-up as these have been linked to injury.

Increase heart rate gradually: Start with gentle exercises which get the big muscles of the body going such as jogging. Then begin skipping or some gentle high knees exercises. Follow this by increasing the speed of each previous exercise. This will increase your heart rate steadily and safely.

Give your muscles time to warm up: Avoid trying to squeeze all your warm-up exercises into a 5 minute timeframe especially if you are going to engage in high intensity exercise. A typical football warm-up can take anywhere between 20 and 40mins.

Correct clothing: Make sure it’s flexible enough to allow you to perform all the actions you need without restriction. Make sure it’s warm or cool enough suitable for the conditions you will be in.


‘Shake Up September’ Workplace Challenge

Posted on 5th September 2016 by

Shake Up September Workplace Challenge

Companies and organisations across the UK are invited to take part in the ‘Workplace Challenge’ this month, in a campaign named ‘Shake Up September’. The aim of the programme is to promote sport, physical activity and health improvements across the UK’s workplaces.

With both the Olympics & Paralympics fresh in people’s minds, the Workplace Challenge aims to encourage employees to bring physical activity into the workplace by trying out as many Olympic or Paralympic sports as possible throughout this month.

Why get active in the workplace? 

We spend up to 60% of our waking hours at work and an estimated 40 per cent of people do not exercise enough, according to Public Health England. To help combat the issue, Workplace Challenge, seeks to inspire businesses and encourage workers to get active in and around the working day.

Inspired by Team GB, workers are being urged to sign up to Workplace Challenge for free and try at least five different sports throughout ‘Shake Up September’. The more activities they log via the Workplace Challenge website or mobile app, the more points they will earn for their workplace as they go for gold on a national challenge leaderboard – with prizes on offer for winning individuals and workplaces, plus spot prizes available for those who get active and get involved with the challenge.

County Sports Partnerships across England will also be running local events and activities, as well as offering a host of online offers with local businesses and National Governing Bodies covering a wide range of sports.

Research has shown that physical activity can boost morale, communication, lift team spirit, increase productivity and reduce the number of sickness absence days taken. From our point of view, being active in the workplace can really help prevent and minimise any work related injuries such as back pain, neck pain and overuse injuries or repetitive strains.

The site also has some great resources and ideas for helping encourage activity in the workplace, such as the Flexible Lunch Break Manifesto.

So, download your Sports Bingo card, sign up and get active!

#ShakeUp2016


Is technology to blame for youth inactivity?

Posted on 26th August 2016 by

Research recently undertaken by UK Active has revealed that 9 out of 10 parents blame tech for youth inactivity.

Some Facts & Figures

  • Only half of seven-year-olds are meeting recommended physical activity guidelines of 60 minutes/day.
  • 75% of the 1039 parents interviewed agreed that it is more difficult for parents today to encourage children to become physically active than for previous generations.
  • 90% think technology is partly to blame.
  • Around 10% of children start primary school obese.
  • Only 9% of toddlers are meeting the chief medical officer’s activity guidelines.
  • Just 47% of those in the study think there are enough affordable opportunities for children to be active in their local area during school holidays

As a parent myself I understand the daily battle between over ‘screen time’. I think my kids are pretty active. They all walk to school, they take part in as much sport as possible in and out of school, we get out as a family and enjoy ‘active time’ and they have a garden to play in. My older 2 also share my slight FitBit Activity tracker obsession (and love a bit of healthy competition!) and I was shocked by how little ‘physical activity’ they actually do some days, despite doing all the above.

It has made me think about the very common scenario or typical day of being driven to school and dropped off at the gate, the limited PE provided in schools, wet break (so no opportunity to move around at playtime), being driven home again for an evening sat in front of the TV/playing computer games/doing homework.

It does take investment by parents nowadays to encourage and promote physical activity. But I don’t think it’s purely technology at blame. Many families have working parents who are stretched to their limits too and time resources are scarce. We rely on our cars far too much, so we’re less likely to have physical activity like walking, scooting or cycling built into our daily routine. School sport and PE (in my personal experience) can be pretty shocking! It’s certainly not inspiring for those who aren’t naturally drawn to sport. Organised sports can be expensive and time consuming and not always accessible for everyone. Plus, screen time is often the easy option – when we lead busy lives as working parents, a few hours of quiet time can be bliss!

However, as another report published last year by UK Active highlights, Generation Inactive, inactivity is a ticking tome bomb for the NHS. Just like we want the best for our children in terms of education, nutrition, happiness etc. helping them be physically active is fundamental. We (parents & schools) have to be teaching our children healthy habits for life.

Getting kids active

  • Walk whenever you can – if you find yourself with a bit of extra time, build walking into your day. Seize every opportunity!
  • Take advantage of nature – parks, country parks, beaches…they’re all free to access (apart from parking charges often!) and great for getting kids of all ages active.
  • Arrange to meet friends in an open space for some semi-organised sports, take a ball, rounders, cricket. Once they get going, the kids often take the lead and parents can catch up with others from the sidelines!
  • Take advantage of regular free organised activities in the area like SkyRide or Junior Parkrun. There are also many free sporting activities around in the school holidays. Locally for example, Arsenal Football Club run free coaching sessions in the holidays and in the summer Eastleigh run a great Park Sport scheme.
  • Encourage kids to try something new. Many sports clubs offer free tasters. Try something different or not necessarily mainstream, you may be surprised by what they enjoy.
  • Involve kids in household chores – hoovering, helping in the garden, washing the car. They’re all physical activities, it doesn’t have to be sport.
  • Set a good example. If they see you being active, enjoying investing in your body by walking or exercising, it will be seen as a positive lifestyle choice.

With the cost of games consoles and games these days, how can it not be possible to find a cheaper alternative to be active?!