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RAMP warm-ups: more than simply short-term preparation.

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Towards efficiency and effectiveness
The prioritisation of training naturally
requires us to carefully consider two key
concepts: that of efficiency and effectiveness.
Efficiency can be thought of as the ability to
accomplish something with the least waste
of time and effort. With efficient training,
athletes are able to best achieve their
performance goals, within the restrictions of
the time and energy available.
Efficiency is an important concept, but it
must always be considered in the light of
effectiveness. Although training efficiency
can be an important goal, if it comes at
the cost of effectiveness then it is not truly
efficient, as the key objective of any training
input will not have been accomplished, and
other inputs will then be required to achieve
the goal. The converse of course is that
training can be effective, without necessarily
being efficient, and full evaluation of these
training inputs needs to consider the
amount of time and energy dedicated to
achieving a given goal, and its net effect on
the rest of the athlete’s training programme.
Athletic development and team sports:
the challenge
One of the great challenges of the majority
of team sports is the range of fitness
parameters that an athlete competing in
the sport has to develop. Add to this the
technical and tactical requirements of the
game, together with an often-crowded
competition schedule, and the challenge
of effective athletic development becomes
even more complicated. Therefore, training
systems that are able to address multiple
training goals, but at no increased cost in
terms of time or energy, become especially
valuable. It could be argued that one of the
most powerful tools available to a strength
and conditioning (S&C) coach, or indeed to
a sports coach, is the warm-up. For a S&C
coach, this is one of the few areas where
they will typically have an important input,
if not actually being totally in charge of
the process. Consequently, the warm-up
provides an important tool via which several
training objectives can be accomplished.
Although this area has seen significant
change in the last 5 to 10 years, it is still
RAMP warm-ups: more
than simply short-term
preparation
INTRODUCTION
One of the greatest challenges facing any coach is time. It is rare to hear of a coach
who has sufficient time to dedicate to all the potential areas for performance
enhancement. Indeed, even if a coach had all the time he or she required, the
amounts of work that they can do will be limited by the athletes’ training capacity.
Training prescription is therefore always a matter of choice, and coaches are
making daily decisions as to how best to allocate the time and athletes’ energy
available to them. It can be argued that we can do anything, but we can’t do
everything and that decisions as to training priorities are essential to the work of
a strength and conditioning coach.
By Ian Jeffreys, PhD, ASCC, CSCS*D, RSCC*E, FUKSCA, FNSCA,
University of South Wales
IAN JEFFREYS,
PHD, FNSCA, ASCC, CSCS*D,
RSCC*D, FUKSCA
Ian is professor of strength
and conditioning at the
University of South Wales,
and the proprietor and
performance director of
All-Pro Performance. He is a
former board member of the
UKSCA and an assessor and
tutor with the Association.
He is currently a board
member of the NSCA.
AUTHOR’S BIO
18 PROFESSIONAL STRENGTH & CONDITIONING / WWW.UKSCA.ORG.UK
ISSUE 44 / MARCH 2017RAMP SYSTEM
questionable whether its potential as a
fundamental part of every training session
is being fully exploited.
Taking a new look at warm-up
Although the physiological benefits of
an effective warm-up are relatively well-
established in terms of both temperature-
related and non-temperature-related
aspects,1,2,3,5,7,11 the use of a warm-up as a
key ‘training’ tool rather than as a purely
‘preparational’ tool is less well developed.
To maximise the potential benefit of
warm-up in terms of the overall athletic
development of an athlete requires a shift in
emphasis and an awareness of the multiple
benefits that effective warm-ups can bring to
athletic development over the longer term.
Figure 1 outlines key considerations which
should form the backbone of the planning
of an effective warm-up. This shows how
effective planning clearly needs to consider
the short-term effects of the warm-up,
but also how wider considerations can
significantly enhance the overall benefits
the warm-up can bring in terms of efficiency
– and also in terms of benefits relating to
longer term athletic development.
Do warm-ups maximise performance in
the short term? This is the traditional
view of the warm-up as preparation for
performance. Here, activities need to be
chosen which maximise performance in
the upcoming session or competition.
Indeed, most research on warm-up looks at
the effectiveness of specific interventions
on subsequent levels of performance, and
recommendations are made based on these
changes of performance. Undoubtedly this
provides excellent insight into the types
of activities that can be included in warm-
up, but this isolated approach needs to be
balanced against wider considerations,
considerations that can significantly impact
upon the overall efficiency and effectiveness
of the wider training programme.
Expanding the thought process is essential
if decisions are to be made that balance
short-term effects with wider considerations
and importantly with longer term athletic
development. For example, an intervention
may be able to elicit a slightly enhanced
performance in a subsequent activity, but
the logistical challenges of implementing
the approach may mean that the overall
warm-up becomes time inefficient, and other
activities that provide longer-term benefits
are omitted. Other important questions,
therefore, need to be addressed in addition
to the traditional thought process.
Are the warm-ups well structured? Although
the impact of specific interventions has
been well documented, what is less well
established is the optimal structure of a
warm-up, and how effective sequencing
can ensure that benefits from one activity
can facilitate performance in a subsequent
activity. For example, mobility has been
shown to be improved by an increase in
muscle temperature, and so mobility-
based activities may be best preceded by
activities that raise body temperature.
Similarly, the Treppe effect outlines how
muscle contraction force is enhanced by
prior muscle activity, with stronger muscle
contraction rates (even in response to stimuli
of the same strength) with each successive
contraction.12 Effective warm-ups should
involve an initially low intensity of exercise
and a graded increase in activity intensity up
to high intensity effort. Thoughts can then
focus upon how best to elicit these effects in
combination with other key questions.
Are the warm-ups time-efficient? Although
the warm-up is a key part of an overall
session, typically the main aim of any
given session comes in the main body of
the session. In this way, warm-ups should
be planned to achieve their key goals in as
time and energy-efficient a way as possible.
This requires a careful consideration of
every activity included in the warm-up
and evaluation of whether it contributes to
performance, either in the short term, the
medium term or long term. This should
involve a careful analysis of the efficiency to
effectiveness ratio, and its impact upon the
subsequent session.
Do they contribute to other session aims?
Typically, a well-planned session will
Fundamental
Additional
Transformational
Do they maximise
performance in the
short term? Are they well
structured?
Are they time-efficient?
Do they contribute to
other session aims?
Does the warm-up
develop performance
in the long term?
Figure 1. Considerations in
warm-up design
‘To maximise
performance
we need to
ensure that
the quality
of work
performed
is always
technically
correct’
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ISSUE 44 / MARCH 2017 RAMP SYSTEM
have a number of objectives. Effectively
planned warm-ups need to look beyond
purely physiological preparation, and
need to incorporate considerations of
skill development, and other key goals
of the athlete’s programme. In this way,
warm-ups can be planned that contribute
directly to the activities and the goals of
the main session.9 This will then provide a
seamless transition between the warm-up
and the main session. However, although an
important consideration, at times this can
become a straightjacket and coaches need
to be comfortable in both integration and
separation of the warm-up from the main
session, with the separation aspects being
intricately linked to the long-term planning
considerations.
Does the warm-up develop performance
in the long term? This question is a major
departure from the traditional warm-
up thought process. Typically, warm-
up planning is built around the first
consideration, but incorporating the other
three considerations into this planning
results in a more efficient and overall
effective warm-up. However, incorporating
a fifth consideration dramatically changes
the planning process of warm-ups and is
transformational in terms of big picture
thinking. Consideration of whether the
warm-up maximises performance in the
long-term takes planning to a different level,
as rather than simply thinking about warm-
up as a short-term tool for preparation for an
upcoming session, it opens up the warm-up
as a key tool in overall athletic development.
Armed with this form of thinking, activities
can be chosen, not simply around the impact
on the subsequent session, but importantly
on their impact on the athletes’ overall
athletic development.
So, although two activities could conceivably
have the same short-term impact, the use
of activity that incorporates movements
or skills that can provide gains in the
longer term becomes a preferred option.
It is here that the concept of separation
mentioned earlier is essential, as it allows
the development of a capacity that may not
be covered in the main session, but which
is essential to the athletic development of
the athlete, and the warm-up may be the
only opportunity to develop this capacity. In
this way, the ability to separate the warm-up
from the upcoming session becomes a key
skill, in addition to the ability to integrate
where needed, and the ideal scenario will
depend upon the nature of the warm-up, the
upcoming session and the overall athletic
development picture. Critically, this requires
a long-term approach to warm-up planning,
and how everything fits into the athletic
development jigsaw.
THE GAMESPEED SYSTEM
Actualisation Initiation Transition
Acceleration Max speed
Static
rolling
Linear
curved
Starting Changing
direction
Linear
Lateral
Rear
Anterior/
posterior
Lateral
Static Moving
Jockeying
Lateral
Rearwards
Combined
Figure 2. The Gamespeed Target
Movement Syllabus
‘Does the
warm-up
develop
performance
in the long
term?’
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ISSUE 44 / MARCH 2017
One of the great benefits of thinking longer
term in relation to a warm-up is the direct
effect it has on skill development. According
to Ericsson,6 the key determinant of skill
development is the quantity of deliberate
practice. By including deliberate practice,
on key fundamental movement patterns,
key locomotor patterns, and key sport
skill patterns in each and every warm-up,
this provides for an extensive application
of deliberate practice, but at no added
cost in terms of either time or athlete
energy expenditure.9 In this way, targeted
activities during warm-ups allows these
skills to develop in each and every session.11
Although in the short term, this may not
appear to make a huge difference, simply
10 minutes spent on skills for two sessions
per week results in 80 minutes of skill
development each and every month. Over
the course of the year, and especially over
the course of an athletic career, this amounts
to a considerable amount of additional skill
development.11
The proviso here is that this work is
supported by effective coaching and the
emphasis is placed on optimal application
of this skill development. Unfortunately, all
too often, not enough emphasis is placed
on the performance of activities during
the warm-up, and often athletes simply
go through the motions of the activities
and fail to take advantage of the skill
development opportunities that accrue. To
maximise performance we need to ensure
that the quality of work performed is always
technically correct, and that we are as
assiduous in our coaching during warm-up
as we are in the main body of the session.
Critically, this also requires that we develop
an optimal performance model for all of the
movements that we perform in our warm-
up.9
The RAMP warm-up structure:
maximising performance in the short
and long term
The RAMP warm-up system8 was designed
to address all the previous considerations.
Its structure maximises performance in the
short term, but additionally it provides a
sequence by which each activity optimises
subsequent activity in a time and energy
efficient manner. Similarly, its potentiation
phase, whereby carefully selected activities
provide a progressive increase in intensity
towards a main session, help ensure that the
warm-up can assist with the achievement of
the main session goals.8,9 However, perhaps
the main advantage of the effective use of
the RAMP system lies in its potential to
maximise athletic performance in the long
term. By carefully selecting activities that
are used in each phase of the RAMP warm-
up, with due consideration as to the longer-
term impact of the activities, as well as the
short-term impact, allows the selection
of activities that not only contribute to
performance in the current session, but
critically to the overall athletic development
of the athlete. In this way, the RAMP
system is built around specifically targeted
activities aimed at enhancing performance
in the short, medium and long-term.
RAISE
Athletic performance is enhanced by the
achievement of optimal muscle and body
temperature.1,2,7 The main short-term aim of
the raise section of the warm-up is to raise
body temperature and other physiological
parameters through the use of carefully
targeted activities. Although this phase
will have key physiological aims, such as
increasing muscle elasticity, increasing
muscle contraction rates, increasing
oxygen delivery and uptake, diverting
blood flow, raising body temperature, etc,8
what separates it from a traditional general
warm-up is that the activities themselves are
carefully selected and highly specific to an
athlete’s goals. In this way, it differs hugely
from a general warm-up in which the key
aim is to raise physiological parameters and
hence the activity chosen is largely arbitrary
and the main consideration physiological
rather than developmental. In the Raise
phase, there still remains a physiological
consideration, but the decision-making is
based around how to achieve that, while
at the same time also optimising long-
term skill development. Typically, Raise
activities revolve around the development
of locomotor movements, the development
of skills, or a combination of both.
A
C B D
E F G
Bags
Pitchfork
Boxes
Lines
Progressive
lines
B
E
C
A D
F
F
B
Line 1 Line 2
Figure 3. Sample ‘Raise’
phase movement set-ups
RAMP SYSTEM
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In terms of locomotor movement
development, the target classifications of
the Gamespeed system9 provide a virtual
movement syllabus that can be used to
ensure that all key locomotor patterns
utilised in sport are addressed (see Figure 2).
Typically, a range of activity set-ups can
be utilised, which allow a high-density
of movement activity to be achieved in a
relatively small area. This set-up allows
several athletes to be warmed up at the
same time, but critically allows a coach the
opportunity to observe as many of these
activities as possible. This is especially
important in the early stages of skill
development where the optimal application
of each movement is critical. Figure 3
outlines some commonly used set-ups
within the Gamespeed system, with each
allowing for a wide range of movements and
movement combinations to be achieved.9
The set-ups also allow for development
of the movement patterns, from discrete
through to simple combinations, through to
multiple combinations, through to decision-
making activities. In this way, progression
can be achieved both within each session
and importantly over time. Effective
combination of the set-ups over a given
time period allows for variety, but also can
ensure that each movement pattern in the
syllabus is covered each week, allowing for
considerable practice on these fundamental
patterns over time.
The use of skills to achieve the key aims
of the raise phase is another important
application. Here, movements are combined
with the applications of skills, to achieve
a high density of skill applications in the
given time. The type of Raise activity will
typically vary depending upon the context.
If the activity is for a given sport, then it is
likely that the Raise phase will consist of
skills associated with that sport, whereas if it
is a multisport set-up then skill application
can revolve around a range of basic sports
skills such as catching, throwing, kicking,
hitting, swinging and jumping. Again, as for
the movement patterns, it is important that
these activities are performed with excellent
technique, and thus it is important that the
conditioning coach is armed with the ability
to determine effective performance in all of
the skills utilised within the warm-up, as well
as knowledge about the movement patterns
themselves.
ACTIvATE AND MObILISE
This phase follows on from the Raise phase,
as the key physiological benefits achieved
during the previous phase contribute to
effective performance in the activate and
mobilise phase. Although in the short term
the aim is to move the body actively through
an increased range of motion, in the long
term this phase allows extensive practice
of key fundamental movement patterns.
This combination of long and short term
thinking importantly stresses the advantage
of dynamic activities over more static
activities. The use of dynamic activities has
several advantages: first, it maintains the
temperature-related benefits of the raise
phase; secondly, it moves the body actively
through a progressively increasing range of
motion; and thirdly, it avoids the potentially
negative effects of static stretching on
performance.11
Ironically, when viewed from an efficiency
and long term effectiveness point of view,
the third of these is probably the least
important consideration. Viewed from an
efficiency point of view, the use of dynamic
activities which involve movement around
a range of joints, and which also address
the key components of mobility – including
the ability to control movement via the
appropriate development of motor control,
stability etc4,11 – clearly have advantages.
Similarly, a long-term view allows the
phase to be used for the development or
maintenance of fundamental movement
patterns. A highly popular system of
movement assessment over the past few
years has been the functional movement
screen, which outlines a range of movements
which are considered fundamental to
effective performance.4,11
Although assessment is important, what is
of equal importance – or indeed more – is
the ability to address any movement issues
through targeted actions. It is here again that
the RAMP system is especially important, as
Squat Lunge
Brace Reach
Stepping-
Single
leg stance
Figure 4. Fundamental
mobilisation pattern groups
RAMP SYSTEM
22 PROFESSIONAL STRENGTH & CONDITIONING / WWW.UKSCA.ORG.UK
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the activation and mobilisation phase allows
the performance of the key fundamental
movements required for effective
performance in each and every session.
Figure 4 shows some key fundamental
movement patterns: a selection of an activity
from each group allows the movement
pattern to be practised, and also ensures that
each key joint is mobilised appropriately.
Additionally, each movement pattern can
be part of a progressive sequence. In this
way, challenge can be provided once a basic
movement is established. So, for example, a
lunge can progress through a static lunge,
to a walking lunge, to a lunge with varied
directional reaches to a lunge with varying
degrees of rotation.
The activation aspect of the phase is
integrated with the mobilisation phase
and involves controlled movement
in each pattern through the required
range of motion. In specific scenarios,
this phase also allows for targeted
activation patterns, although these
are not typically included in a normal
warm-up. Instead these activities can be
used to address
specific issues that athletes may present
and here activities can be specifically
included into this phase to develop key
capacities or to address any identified
deficiencies.
POTENTIATE
The Potentiation phase provides
one of the most powerful tools for
the development of key fitness
components and overall athleticism.
The treppe effect outlines how muscle
activity is influenced by previous activity
and optimal performance requires a phased
increase in intensity of activity. Failure to
include a potentiation phase will preclude
peak performance and so the potentiation
phase needs to be an integral part of any
warm-up preparing the athlete for high
intensity activity. Importantly, the
previous phases will have provided
the base upon which to effectively
apply a potentiation phase.
However, again the multi-faceted
thinking of the RAMP system allows
the potentiation phase to be so much
more than merely preparation. Phases can
be designed to address a range of capacities,
including speed, agility, power, applied
movement capacities and applied sport
skills. Essentially, the potentiation phase
is a progressive sequence of activities that
maximise performance in the upcoming
session, but also develop targeted skills and
abilities that leads to optimal performance
in the short, medium and long-term.8,11
In essence, the potentiation phase can
be a discrete session in itself aimed at
developing a specific capacity or theme or
phased towards a main session, including
activities that will enhance performance
both physiologically and skill based in the
upcoming session.
Discrete sessions are where the potentiation
phase focuses on a key capacity that isn’t
necessarily related to the upcoming session.
So, for example, the potentiation phase can
be targeted at the development of maximal
speed, which – although important to sports
performance – isn’t necessarily the focus
of the upcoming session. It is here that the
long-term development focus of the RAMP
system is important, in that capacities that
are important over the longer term can be
targeted within warm-ups, even if they are
not the focus of the current session. Over
time, this allows for the development of key
components of performance which may
or may not be included in the upcoming
session but which are crucial for athletic
development. Again, the longer term
thinking process is essential, allowing for
extensive practice and development over
time but without additional time or energy
expenditure.11
Sessions can also be phased into the main
session, so where the main session focuses
on defensive skills, the potentiation phase
can provide a sequenced and progressive
range of activities that develop movements
such as jockeying and acceleration, which
are crucial to defensive capabilities, moving
progressively onto more manipulative and
sport-specific applications. This sequencing
can move from discrete activities, through a
series of combinations, and ultimately into
the sport-specific applications the athletes
will need to produce in the upcoming
session.
Whether the sessions are predominantly
discrete or phased, what is crucial for athletic
development is that over a given period of
time the athlete is exposed to activities that
address all of the key movement capacities
they require for performance. A powerful way
to use the potentiation phase, and to ensure
key capacities are developed, is the concept
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of themed sessions. These themes can be
single, combined, sports-generic or sports-
specific. Single themed phases are where
focus is on one movement capacity, such as
acceleration, direction change, jockeying,
etc. These are extremely useful when
working with development athletes and are
also useful when working on fundamental
capacities such as acceleration. Combined
themes are typically a progression from
single phases. Here, movements are
combined in typical combinations used
in sport such as direction change and
acceleration, jockeying and acceleration.
Sport-specific or sports-generic themes
are a further progression, where tasks are
progressively introduced that address
typical sport-generic task requirements or
sports-specific task requirements.10 Here
themes such as defensive skills, offensive
skills, etc, provide sports-generic task-based
themes, and these generic approaches can
themselves be broken down into highly
sport-specific task themes, such as defensive
skills from set pieces.
Typically, the potentiation phase will
involve an increase in intensity and can
also involve an increase in specificity as it
progresses. So, for example, an acceleration
theme can initially focus on technical drills
followed by accelerations from a standing
start, progressing to accelerations from a
range of rolling starts, and finishing with
accelerations in offensive and/or defensive
task based scenarios.
By optimal application of the potentiation
phase, a significant volume of speed, agility
and plyometric work can be carried out,
which both prepare the athlete for the
upcoming session, but significantly enhance
the long-term athletic development of
the athlete. Where this phase is used as
preparation for performance it becomes a
highly efficient way of ensuring a minimal
volume of speed and agility training is
incorporated into an athlete’s training
programme. However, extending the
potentiation phase is a powerful tool
and a highly efficient way of including
additional dedicated time for speed and
agility development, where rather than
have a dedicated session at a different
time, the warm-up is extended to have a
dedicated period of 10-15 minutes focused
on speed and agility development prior to a
timetabled session.9
Being at the start of the session, athletes are
non fatigued and the RAMP has optimally
prepared the athlete for high intensity
performance. Here, the extension of the
potentiation phase by 10 – 15 minutes allows
for an optimal volume of high intensity
speed and agility training to be carried out.
Again the focus can be on a single theme or
most commonly is of a progressive nature as
outlined above.
Summary
The RAMP system is built around training
effectiveness and efficiency. Its sequential
nature ensures that each phase optimises
performance in the subsequent phase.
However, perhaps the most powerful
advantage of the system is how it switches
focus from mainly short-term considerations
to a combination of short-term and
long-term. By switching to a long-term
focus, it allows activities to be selected
that achieve the short-term focus but
which also contribute to the long-term
athletic development of the athlete. In this
way, a significant amount of time can be
devoted to the development of movements
and locomotor skills, and also to the
development of key capacities such as
speed, agility and power. Critically, this is
achieved without a significant increase
in training time, maximising efficiency
and ensuring an effective application of
training.
‘Failure to include a potentiation phase will
preclude peak performance’
RAMP SYSTEM
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References
1. Asmussen, E F Bonde-Peterson, and K Jorgenson. Mechano-elastic properties
of human muscles at different temperatures. Acta Physiol Scand 96: 86-93. 1976.
2. Bishop, D. Warm-up. Potential mechanisms and the effects of passive warm-up
on performance. Sports Med. 33(6): 439-454. 2003.
3. Bishop, D. Warm Up II. Performance changes following active warm-up and how
to structure the warm-up. Sports Med. 33(7): 483-498. 2003
4. Cook, G. Movement: Functional Movement Systems: Screening Assessment
and Corrective Strategies. Aptos CA: On Target Publications. 2010.
5. Enoka, R M. Neuromechanics of Human Movement, 4th Ed. Champaign, IL:
Human Kinetics. 2008.
6. Ericsson K A. Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise. London:
Random House. 2016.
7. Fradkin, A J, Zazryn, T R and Smoliga, J M. Effects of warming up on Physical
Performance: A Systematic Review with Meta Analysis. J Str Cond Res. 24:1.
140-148. 2010
8. Jeffreys, Warm-up revisited: The ramp method of optimizing warm-ups.
Professional Strength and Conditioning. (6) 12-18. 2007.
9. Jeffreys, I. Gamespeed . Monterey CA. Coaches Choice. 2009.
10. Jeffreys, I. A task based approach to developing reactive agility. Strength and
Conditioning Journal. 33(4): 52-59. 2011.
11. Jeffreys, I (2008) Warm up and Stretching. In: Haff GG and Tripplett T. The
Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning (4th Ed) Champaign Il.
Human Kinetics. 2008.
12. Marieb, E N. Human Anatomy & Physiology (Fifth Edition), New York. Benjamin
Cummings. 2001
UKSCA and Rugby Football League
Coach Education Programme
bACKGROUND TO THE PROGRAMME
A high level of interest in the UKSCA was
registered among both professional and
community coaches in rugby league:
they were interested in both achieving
accreditation and also in further
learning courses in the areas of physical
preparation. However, many of the rugby
league coaches cited a lack of time,
available budget or accessibility to courses
as reasons for not actively pursuing UKSCA
accreditation and education opportunities.
As a governing body, the RFL therefore
decided to collaborate with the UKSCA
to develop a programme to assist rugby
league coaches, while insisting that certain
professional standards were adhered
to by practising coaches at club level.
The key aim of the UKSCA/RFL Coach
Education Programme was to facilitate
accessible professional development for
rugby league-based conditioning coaches
in line with UKSCA competencies. This is
a game-wide strategy, both to increase
the quality of these coaches and also
their delivery at all levels of club rugby
league, thus potentially producing more
world class players at England level.
THE MODEL
An accessible collaboration, delivered at
regional training centres:
Specific: Nine three-hour sessions of
learning per core component, from
plyometric agility speed, programming,
weightlifting, and pre-accreditation
preparation (total of 30 hours)
Accessible: Evenings from 18.00-21.00,
running for four consecutive months on
the first three Mondays of each month
Cost-effective: Subsidised rate per
person, with minimal travel costs for
coaches. Individuals pay for UKSCA
accreditation at the standard rate/
through standard channels
Bespoke: Course content and focus
areas customised by experienced
tutors and RFL input, to maximise the
participants’ development
Led by two UKSCA tutors (24 course
places) or one UKSCA tutor (12 course
places)
The pilot-targeted current practising
club or sport based S&C coaches with
applied industry experience.
SAMPLE COURSE CONTENT
Week 1: Introduction and case study
Week 2: Weightlifting for sports
performance
Week 3: Plyometrics, agility and speed
Week 4: Weightlifting for sports
performance
Week 5: Plyometrics, agility and speed
Week 6: Case study progression
Week 7: Assessment preparation and
individualised content.
NExT STEPS
The initial cohort of coaches – having
been through the education programme
– is now looking to progress to UKSCA
accreditation. To support this, the
programme is expanding to run some
evening assessment preparation sessions
with small groups of coaches, led by
a UKSCA tutor/assessor. Due to the
nature of the UKSCA’s competency-
based assessment, the aim of these
sessions is not to guarantee a ‘pass’ at
the assessment, but rather to work with
coaches to enable them to determine their
own readiness for the assessment and
to help to develop personal development
plans where required.
Providing and accessing impactful,
industry recognised CPD is a
challenge for all governing bodies
and coaches. The partnership with
the UKSCA has provided RL coaches
with an accessible pathway to high
quality personal development which
compliments their applied skill sets.
The unique nature and value of this
model with direct transfer to player
preparation cannot be understated.’
Richard Hunwicks
RFL head of human performance
As a former player, I fully understand
the need for support from the
best coaches in athlete physical
preparation. Investing in our coaches
with the best possible content is vital
for the future of the game.
By working with the UKSCA we
can ensure both coach and athlete
development whilst ensuring best
practice in player welfare.’
Kevin Sinfield, MBE
RFL Rugby Director
... The implementation of a ball handling drill, whilst simultaneously running at a submaximal pace, may have additive benefits to essential coordination patterns needed for a complex sport such as Rugby League, in additional to the desired effect of increasing core temperature (6,16,18,34,42). This is in accordance, with recommendations regarding the inclusion of skill based 'pulse raising' activities at the initiation of a warm-up protocol (20). ...
... However, none of the eight interviewed players, within the focus group cohort, reported inclusion of such activities within their warm-up protocols. High intensity actions such as short distance sprints or low volume jumps have been suggested as appropriate 'potentiate' drills to prescribe within a warm-up protocol and have been shown to have positive effects on sprint and jump performance (18,20,36). ...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to assess warm-up practices within professional and amateur Rugby League players, specifically to determine players’ perceptions why particular methods were used and discover whether any differences existed in warm-up practices and perceptions between the two separate standards. The study used a 10-question online questionnaire to investigate 30 professional and 53 amateur players warm-up protocols and their perceptions behind their practices. To provide a richer understanding regarding the practices and perceptions surrounding warm-up protocols, the questionnaire was followed by two focus groups (professionals and amateurs), which included four participants in each. Following analysis of the questionnaire responses, it was discovered that professional players’ warm-up protocols were significantly longer in duration than amateur players (P = 0.009). However, for all other variables assessed including; specific warm-up protocols, static stretch duration, and perceptions and beliefs concerning warm-up protocols, there were no significant differences between professionals and amateurs. Overall findings demonstrated the widespread use of static stretching within warm-up for both professionals and amateurs; 71 of 83 players (86%) reported usage. It was also highlighted that injury prevention was the most commonly perceived benefit from performing a warm-up across both standards [(Professional; 15 of 30, 50%) (Amateur; 27 of 53, 51%)]. Findings from the focus group generally supported questionnaire responses, and it was identified that the warm-up practices and protocols of Rugby League players were influenced by others such as coaches and strength and conditioning coaches which emphasises the importance of the role of these practitioners.
Thesis
Full-text available
Many studies have confirmed the training effects of post-activation potentiation (PAP) in explosive exercises due to the muscle adaptation in previous contraction, however there is limited research about using PAP in throwing. The study aimed to analyze the upper body PAP effects on throwing velocity in national cricket male players. Arm speed and ball speed were collected during throwing trials. Three tests were conducted for this study: pre-test, post-test wearable resistance (WR) protocol and post-test maximum isometric hold (ISO) protocol. Subjects were male professional cricket players (n=7, mean ± SD age=23.57 ± 5.86). The subjects performed two PAP protocols on different days as follow: WR protocol (3 repetitions of maximum throwing with forearm WR at 0.75% BW loads) and ISO protocol (3 repetitions of 3 seconds maximum isometric shoulder flexion). After each protocol, a randomized 2 to 8 minutes resting period was incorporated before the maximum throwing trials. Maximum throwing velocity were measured using Stalker Sport 2 Radar Gun (Stalker Rader Inc., USA) and PUSH band 2.0 Starter Kit (PUSH Inc., USA) to reflect the ball speed and arm speed in throwing performance. Paired-Samples T Test and Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs Test revealed no improvement in throwing velocity among two PAP protocols. Our findings indicated that the throwing velocity achieved its peak values when the optimal recovery time (6 minutes) was given. However, large individual variations in the response to the PAP protocols with some cricket players responded well to PAP and others not. Moreover, Karl Pearson correlation coefficient and Spearman’ rho correlation revealed a moderate to inferior correlation between ball speed and arm speed. In summary, this study demonstrated no enhancement of maximum throwing velocity after PAP protocols. Coaches and athletes are suggested to evaluate the throwing performance with and without PAP in training to assess the individual efficacy. Also, the PAP protocol should be designed based on the individual basis.
Article
Full-text available
While some elements of the strength and conditioning portfolio have yet to achieve acceptance in the preparation of athletes in all sports, one area of practice which is almost universally accepted is the principle of the warm-up. Today, few athletes at any level train or compete without some attempt at a " warm-up ". However, while the general principles surrounding the need to warm-up remain valid, a large body of evidence is building up which both questions some of our current practices, and provides possible opportunities to improve practice. This article looks at current practice, and presents a model around which to construct effective warm-ups.
Article
Full-text available
EFFECTIVE MOVEMENT IS A KEY ELEMENT OF ELITE SPORTS PERFORMANCE IN A RANGE OF SPORTS, AND AGILITY TRAINING HAS BECOME AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT IN MANY SPORTS PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMS. TRADITIONALLY, AGILITY TRAINING HAS FOCUSED ON THE EXECUTION OF CLOSED DRILLS THAT ALLOW FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF EFFECTIVE MOVEMENT PATTERS BUT MAY NOT OPTIMALLY TRANSFER DIRECTLY TO ENHANCED SPORTS PERFORMANCE. THIS ARTICLE AIMS TO EXAMINE THE NATURE OF REACTIVE AGILITY AND PROVIDE A THEORETICAL SUPPORT FOR THE APPLICATION OF REACTIVE AGILITY EXERCISES AND ALSO SUGGESTS METHODS OF DELIVERING THESE EXERCISES TO MAXIMIZE THE TRANSFER TO ENHANCED SPORTS PERFORMANCE.
Article
Full-text available
Despite limited scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness, warm-up routines prior to exercise are a well-accepted practice. The majority of the effects of warm up have been attributed to temperature-related mechanisms (e.g. decreased stiffness, increased nerve-conduction rate, altered force-velocity relationship, increased anaerobic energy provision and increased thermoregulatory strain), although non-temperature-related mechanisms have also been proposed (e.g. effects of acidaemia, elevation of baseline oxygen consumption (.VO(2)) and increased postactivation potentiation). It has also been hypothesised that warm up may have a number of psychological effects (e.g. increased preparedness). Warm-up techniques can be broadly classified into two major categories: passive warm up or active warm up. Passive warm up involves raising muscle or core temperature by some external means, while active warm up utilises exercise. Passive heating allows one to obtain the increase in muscle or core temperature achieved by active warm up without depleting energy substrates. Passive warm up, although not practical for most athletes, also allows one to test the hypothesis that many of the performance changes associated with active warm up can be largely attributed to temperature-related mechanisms.
Article
Full-text available
While warm up is considered to be essential for optimum performance, there is little scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness in many situations. As a result, warm-up procedures are usually based on the trial and error experience of the athlete or coach, rather than on scientific study. Summarising the findings of the many warm-up studies conducted over the years is difficult. Many of the earlier studies were poorly controlled, contained few study participants and often omitted statistical analyses. Furthermore, over the years, warm up protocols consisting of different types (e.g. active, passive, specific) and structures (e.g. varied intensity, duration and recovery) have been used. Finally, while many studies have investigated the physiological responses to warm up, relatively few studies have reported changes in performance following warm up. The first part of this review critically analyses reported changes in performance following various active warm-up protocols. While there is a scarcity of well-controlled studies with large subject numbers and appropriate statistical analyses, a number of conclusions can be drawn regarding the effects of active warm up on performance. Active warm up tends to result in slightly larger improvements in short-term performance (<10 seconds) than those achieved by passive heating alone. However, short-term performance may be impaired if the warm-up protocol is too intense or does not allow sufficient recovery, and results in a decreased availability of high-energy phosphates before commencing the task. Active warm up appears to improve both long-term (>/=5 minutes) and intermediate performance (>10 seconds, but <5 minutes) if it allows the athlete to begin the subsequent task in a relatively non-fatigued state, but with an elevated baseline oxygen consumption (VO(2)). While active warm up has been reported to improve endurance performance, it may have a detrimental effect on endurance performance if it causes a significant increase in thermoregulatory strain. The addition of a brief, task-specific burst of activity has been reported to provide further ergogenic benefits for some tasks. By manipulating intensity, duration and recovery, many different warm-up protocols may be able to achieve similar physiological and performance changes. Finally, passive warm-up techniques may be important to supplement or maintain temperature increases produced by an active warm up, especially if there is an unavoidable delay between the warm up and the task and/or the weather is cold. Further research is required to investigate the role of warm up in different environmental conditions, especially for endurance events where a critical core temperature may limit performance.
Article
The value of warming-up is a worthy research problem because it is not known whether warming-up benefits, harms, or has no effect on individuals. The purpose of this study was to review the evidence relating to performance improvement using a warm-up. A systematic review and meta-analysis were undertaken. Relevant studies were identified by searching Medline, SPORTDiscus, and PubMed (1966-April 2008). Studies investigating the effects of warming-up on performance improvement in physical activities were included. Studies were included only if the subjects were human and only if the warm-up included activities other than stretching. The quality of included studies was assessed independently by 2 assessors using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale. Thirty-two studies, all of high quality (6.5-9 [mean = 7.6] of 10) reported sufficient data (quality score >6) on the effects of warming-up on performance improvement. Warm-up was shown to improve performance in 79% of the criterions examined. This analysis has shown that performance improvements can be demonstrated after completion of adequate warm-up activities, and there is little evidence to suggest that warming-up is detrimental to sports participants. Because there were few well-conducted, randomized, controlled trials undertaken, more of these are needed to further determine the role of warming-up in relation to performance improvement.
Article
The effect of changes in the muscle temperature on their ability to store elastic energy was studied by having 5 trained subjects perform maximal vertical jumps on a force platform, with and without counter movement, at muscle temperatures between about 32 degrees C and 37 degrees C. The results showed that the heights of vertical jumps were considerably reduced at lowered temperature, but the gain in height after a counter movement in the form of a jump down from a height of 0.4 m over the force platform, was significantly higher in the cold condition. T o test whether this was due to an increased stiffness of the muscles, experiments with imposed sinusoidal length variations at 14 Hz were performed. Delta force XDelta length-1 (i.e.stiffness) increased with isometric tension independent of muscle temperature. Experiments in which the rate of tension development and relaxation in voluntary maximal isometric contractions were measured at different muscle temperatures showed that maximal isometric tension changed by less than 1% per degree but the rate of tension development and relaxation by 3-5% and 5% per degree, respectively, in the temperature range studied (30 degrees to 40 degrees). These data may be explained by the hypothesis that the series elastic components of the active muscle are located in the cross-bridges between myosin and actin filaments. The storage of elastic energy would be enhanced if the rate of breaking of these bridges were decreased at lower temperatures.
Movement: Functional Movement Systems: Screening Assessment and Corrective Strategies
  • G Cook
Cook, G. Movement: Functional Movement Systems: Screening Assessment and Corrective Strategies. Aptos CA: On Target Publications. 2010.