The Benefit of a Warm-up Program for Athletes

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It is well documented that a warm-up program that is implemented correctly, with good form, has the ability to reduce the amount of injuries in athletes. The WellSport team has sifted through some of this research and has developed a warm-up program that can be adapted for athletes in many different sports.

Athletic trainer Jared Slater, A.T.C., and Physical Therapist Jacob Hart, P.T., D.P.T. were instrumental in implementing this program within their community. In the spring of 2018, they began working with a high school girls soccer team. First, the athletes participated in a dynamic test so the team could see how their bodies responded to the normal demands of sports.

Throughout the season, this 15-minute dynamic warm-up was performed on a regular basis. At the end of the season, the players were tested once again to see if there was any improvement.

The warm-up program consists of a simple jumping tests that’s scored on a 15-point scale. High scores signify poor body mechanics. On the first day, the athletes averaged 6.42 out of 15. On the last day, the athletes averaged 3.11 out of 15.

While the test that was run has little data to clarify what a statistically significant amount of change would be, the conclusion that the team improved in body mechanics can still be drawn. The athletes were able to reduce the chance of experiencing an injury simply from performing a short and specific warm-up program.

Jacob Hart, P.T., D.P.T., is a physical therapist at MidMichigan Health. He, alongside other members of MidMichigan’s rehabilitation services team, are currently implementing this program with teams throughout MidMichigan’s service area. If you are a member of a team that you feel would benefit from reducing the risk of injury, contact Jacob at (989) 775-1656 or jacob.hart@midmichigan.org.

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