Does warming up prevent injury in sport?:The evidence from randomised controlled trials? Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 9(3), 214-220

Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Central and Eastern Clinical School, Alfred Hospital, Commercial Road, Melbourne, Vic. 3004, Australia.
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport (Impact Factor: 3.19). 07/2006; 9(3):214-20. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2006.03.026
Source: PubMed


The practice of warming up prior to exercise is advocated in injury prevention programs, but this is based on limited clinical evidence. It is hypothesised that warming up will reduce the number of injuries sustained during physical activity.
A systematic review was undertaken. Relevant studies were identified by searching Medline (1966-April 2005), SPORTDiscus (1966-April 2005) and PubMed (1966-April 2005). This review included randomised controlled trials that investigated the effects of warming up on injury risk. Studies were included only if the subjects were human, and only if they utilised other activities than simply stretching. Studies reported in languages other than English were not included. The quality of included studies was assessed independently by two assessors.
Five studies, all of high quality (7-9 (mean=8) out of 11) reported sufficient data (quality score>7) on the effects of warming up on reducing injury risk in humans. Three of the studies found that performing a warm-up prior to performance significantly reduced the injury risk, and the other two studies found that warming up was not effective in significantly reducing the number of injuries.
There is insufficient evidence to endorse or discontinue routine warm-up prior to physical activity to prevent injury among sports participants. However, the weight of evidence is in favour of a decreased risk of injury. Further well-conducted randomised controlled trials are needed to determine the role of warming up prior to exercise in relation to injury prevention.

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    • "There is some evidence to support the notion that warm-up exercise prevents sportsrelated injuries (Fradkin et al., 2006). For example, aerobic warm-up exercise can be used to gradually speed up metabolic processes, elevate temperature in active muscles (Safran et al., 1989), and thereby increase muscle extensibility (Noonan et al., 1993). "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of warm-up and cool-down exercise on delayed onset of muscle soreness at the distal and central parts of rectus femoris following leg resistance exercise. Thirty-six volunteers (21 women, 15 men) were randomly assigned to the warm-up (20 min ergometer cycling prior to the resistance exercise), cool-down (20 min cycling after the resistance exercise), or control group performing resistance exercise only. The resistance exercise consisted of front lunges (10×5 repetitions/sets) with external loading of 40% (women) and 50% (men) of body mass. Primary outcomes were pressure pain threshold along rectus femoris and maximal isometric knee extension force. Data were recorded before the resistance exercise and on the two consecutive days. Pressure pain threshold at the central muscle belly was significantly reduced for the control group on both day 2 and 3 (p≤0.003) but not for the warm-up group (p≥0.21). For the cool-down group, pressure pain threshold at the central muscle belly was significantly reduced on day 2 (p≤0.005) and was also lower compared to the warm-up group (p=0.025). Force was significantly reduced on day 2 and 3 for all groups (p<0.001). This study indicates that aerobic warm-up exercise performed prior to resistance exercise may prevent muscle soreness at the central but not distal muscle regions, but it does not prevent loss of muscle force.
    Journal of Human Kinetics 12/2012; 35(1):59-68. DOI:10.2478/v10078-012-0079-4 · 1.03 Impact Factor
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    • "The efficiency of warm up in the training-competition process is explained by the change of the viscoelastic properties of tissues with increasing temperature or the improvement of metabolic conditions. Content such as joint mobility, jogging, stretching, and proprioceptive technical training (Figure 4) prior to the main activity provide an important preventive security (Fradkin et al., 2006). Fig. 4. Examples of exercises with preventive content in warm-up. "

    An International Perspective on Topics in Sports Medicine and Sports Injury, 02/2012; , ISBN: 978-953-51-0005-8
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