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A 20-Minute Warm Up Could Be the Difference Between Injury and Performance

A 20-Minute Warm Up Could Be the Difference Between Injury and Performance

A study shows that doing a full-body warm up before exercise can help reduce risk of injury.

A good warm up pre-workout is something most people skip, but science says you should make time for it. If rolling your ankle or tweaking your shoulder isn’t your goal, stretching your muscles and joints can make a big difference in injury prevention and sports performance.

Researchers in a study published in the journal Sports Medicine worked with 243 youth soccer teams to develop a warm-up routine to reduce their risk of injury. Their 20-minute warm-up routine consisted of three exercises for the lower body (hopping, jumping and landing); three total-body moves; and one falling technique. The difficulty levels increased based on each kids’ age (from 7 to 13 years old) as well as maturity-related performance and motor skills. The result? After one soccer season, researchers found that the overall injury rate of the teams was 48 percent lower than control groups, and the rate of severe injury fell by as much as 74 percent.

So, if you want to play it forward and make a clean sweep against injuries, be sure to talk to your coach about doing a warm-up routine before every game and every workout, for that matter.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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