How Australian Rule Footballers Should Warm Up

As an AFL footballer, you know the importance of warming up before a game. Warming up not only helps to prevent injuries but can also help improve your performance on the field. Here are some tips on doing a proper AFL warm-up to make sure your body is ready before taking the field.

The Significance of Footballers Warming Up Before Playing

You may be tempted to just run out onto the field and immediately get in the game. However, skipping your warm-up can actually increase your risk of injury. A good warm-up should prepare your body for the physical activity about to occur. It helps increase your heart rate, prepare you mentally and get your blood flowing so you feel ready to compete with maximum effort!

A proper footy warm-up should include a mix of light-moderate and high-intensity movement and mobility drills. You don’t need to spend a lot of time on your warm-up, but it is essential to do it properly. If you’re not sure how to warm up for football, here are some tips to get you started.

Warm-Up Activities

For AFL preparation, start with light aerobic exercises such as jogging or run drills. Mix inside shuffles, backward pedaling, lunging, and jumping. These exercises will increase your body temperature and prepare your body for more strenuous activity.

Once you’ve completed a few minutes of aerobic exercises, it’s time to start mobilising. Australian Rules Football is a sport that requires a lot of mobility, so it’s crucial to take your muscles through range before playing. Ideally, avoid static stretching and look to incorporate dynamic mobility to mimic the movement patterns you are about to face during the game.  

You can also add in some basic ball skills such as handballing and kicking, this is an essential part of the preparation for yourself and the team. This will help get your body ready for the game-like movements you’ll perform on the field. In addition, it is best to have a strength and conditioning coach like the ones at Prepare Like a Pro to guide the team with a comprehensive footy warm-up routine.

What are the Risks Involved with Not Warming Up Properly?

Not warming up before playing can have some severe consequences. Muscles that are cold and unused are more susceptible to injuries. In addition, you may also find yourself mentally not switched on and sluggish during the game if you don’t take the time to warm up properly. 

AFL players need to make sure they take the time to properly warm-up before every game, whether it’s an AFL preseason or the regular season. By following these tips, you can help reduce your risk of injuries and be at your best on the field.

Here are several injuries that can occur if you don’t warm up before playing Australian Rules Football:

1) Hamstring Injury

This is one of the most common injuries in AFL. It can occur when the hamstring muscles are suddenly stretched beyond their limit. A proper warm-up can help prepare these muscles and reduce your risk of this injury.

2) Knee Injury

Knee injuries are also prevalent in AFL. They can range from minor strains to major ligament tears. A good warm-up can help increase the stability of your ankles & hips which can help reduce your risk of knee injuries. 

3) Ankle Sprain

 An ankle sprain is a very common injury in sports that involve running and jumping. It occurs when the ankle joint is twisted or turned beyond its normal range of motion. Warming up can help prepare the surrounding muscles and increase the range of motion in your ankle. This can help reduce your risk of ankle sprains.

 4) Groin Strain

A groin strain is a type of injury that occurs when the muscles in the groin area are stretched or torn. It is a common injury in sports that involve a high-speed change of direction running and twisting movements. A proper warm-up can help prepare the muscles and reduce your risk of this injury.

5) Back Injury

Back injuries are one of the most common injuries in all sports. They can range from mild strains to serious spine injuries. A proper warm-up can increase the range of motion of your posterior chain (calves/hamstrings/lower & middle back while also preparing your core for combat. This can help reduce your risk of back injuries.

The Bottomline

Warming up before playing Australian Rules Football is essential for reducing your risk of injuries. By following the tips in this article, you can help prepare your body for the strenuous activity involved in playing this sport. If you want to prepare your body for the rigors of AFL, get in touch with Prepare Like A Pro. We offer a variety of strength and conditioning programs that can help you stay injury-free this season including working with your local football club. For more information check Football Clubs and Schools

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