August 24th, 2019

FAME: Specialized warm-up can reduce injuries

By Kayla Repas (FAME) on February 28, 2019.

We all know that participating in physical activity and sport poses its own risk of injury, however most of these injuries are preventable.

A three-year study in Calgary junior high schools with the partnership of the University of Calgary’s Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre and Ever Active Schools showed that students who participated in a neuromuscular training warm-up had a significant decrease in lower body injuries compared to their peers (Emery, et al., 2018).

This is particularly interesting to females in the sport community as we tend to have a higher incidence of sport-related injuries due to various reasons (hormonal influence on neuromuscular control, ligament laxity as well as anatomic and biomechanical factors) as mentioned by Vicki Harbor in Canadian Sport for Life’s The Female Athlete Perspective. She states that anterior cruciate ligament, patellofemoral joint and shoulder injuries are among the most common. So if a neuromuscular training warm-up can help decrease risk of injury we could help more women and girls stay active and playing their sport longer.

So what is a neuromuscular training warm up? It works on activating the neural and muscular systems to wake up the muscles that are needed for basic movement patterns such as stabilizing the joint. It contains four main components which are aerobic (such as skipping, forward and backward running), agility (zig-zag running and jumps or hops in multiple directions), strength (plank, side plank and Nordic hamstring) and balance exercises (single leg balance) to ensure the body is appropriately warmed up for activity.

A great starting point reference is Be Fit for Life’s Let’s Warm Up poster (befitforlife.ca, click on resources), which previews a few exercises that could be done as part of your neuromuscular training warm-up.

Also the Females in Action Moving and Empowering committee is currently running a free Female Coach Development Mentorship Program starting in March. We have some amazing speakers coming in to share their knowledge with you and are lucky enough to have Carla Vandenburg from the University of Calgary who will lead an injury prevention workshop Wednesday, March 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the Medicine Hat College gym. In this hands-on experience you will learn the proper technique and sport specific examples of a neuromuscular training warm-up to help decrease your players’ risk of injury.

Other great sessions female coaches can register for are:

– Females in Coaching (March 4, featuring Tara Chisholm)

– In Season Training (March 11, featuring Alex Graham)

– Mental Skills (March 25, featuring Courtney Marchesin)

– Sport Nutrition (April 8, featuring Kimberlee Brooks)

All are at Medicine Hat College and start at 6:30 p.m. To register email ksegall@mhc.ab.ca.

Kayla Repas is the physical literacy facilitator at Medicine Hat College’s Be Fit for Life Centre. She’s also a member of the FAME committee.

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