RAMP up your warm-up for more effective results.

RAMP up your warm-up for more effective results.

The warm-up is a precursor to all exercise (or should be). Like everything else within training, there is a lot of information and miss information about what constitutes an appropriate warm-up. You may have a few questions such as, how long should a warm-up last? What should my warm-up consist of? How intense should the warm-up be? Can I get away without warming up at all? The real answer to all these questions is “it depends”.

 

A warm-up should be an activity that primes your body ready for the main activity/exercise. A warm-up needs to be sufficient enough so your muscles, tendons, nervous system and cardiovascular system are all ready for the upcoming activity. Not only that but a warm-up should be a time where the athlete can practice skills and specific movements that can help in their development as well as for the forthcoming session. A way of making sure your warm-up is sufficient is by using the R.A.M.P protocol.

 

Football Warm-up

The R.A.M.P protocol is a warm-up that may be familiar to a lot of coaches. It stands for Raise, Activate, Mobilise and Potentiate. The protocol is systematic in nature and can be utilised in long term athletic development for athletes at all levels.

Below is a breakdown of each segment of the ramp protocol:

 

Raise: to increase muscle, core temperature, blood flow, muscle/neural efficiency and breathing rate. This can be general and non-specific in nature.

Activate: increase muscle and joint function ready for the upcoming activity. You might utilise dynamic, general stretches to help prime the body prior to mobilising

Mobilise: develop mobility and movement patterns. Can work on key movements for the upcoming activity or develop poor movement patterns in a constraints-based environment.

Potentiate: increasing load and stress on the body in preparation for the upcoming training/competitive activity. You can utilise sport-specific skills within this section and make this more chaotic and unpredictable. 

 

The beauty of the RAMP protocol is that it can be developed to suit almost any environment. It can also be used to develop key activity-specific skills that general warm-ups do not do. As well as overall long-term development. A great warm-up protocol should incorporate key and basic movement patterns the coach/athlete is looking to develop over time. Remember the more instances an athlete is allowed to practice something the quicker they will become more proficient at it.

 

One of the biggest complaints that most coaches/athletes have is there is little to no time to complete appropriate warm-ups. I would argue if time is precious why would you do a warm-up that does not help develop you over the long term.  The ramp protocol can be condensed but if you can incorporate sport-specific skills within that time period then athlete’s and coaches alike will be willing to dedicate more time to the warm-up. The warm-up should be a time to prime and ready the body for the upcoming activity. But it can be seen as a time to really help to develop an athlete’s overall athletic abilities.

 

Think of it this way if you’re given 20 mins three times a week for a warm-up that’s 1 hour a week, which is 4 hours per month and in a rugby season lasting 9 months, for example, that’s 36 hours per season. Warm-up time should not be wasted by not taking it seriously. all this time by just not taking the warm-up seriously.

 

See below table for examples of warm-up exercises

 

 

Example

Sets/Reps/Duration

Raise

Light Jogging-Forwards, Backwards-Side shuffles

5 mins

(MOVEMENT QUALITY)

Activate

Mini band Routine- Monster walks, Side shuffles, Squats, lunges

Glute bridges

Clockface lunges

Single leg squats

2 sets- 8 reps each exercise or 10-15 seconds each

 

Choose 3-4 exercises

 

(MOVEMENT QUALITY)

Mobilise

Lunge and reach

Inch Worms

Cossack squats

Single leg arabesque to lunge

Spiderman push-ups

2 sets- 6-8 reps each exercise or 15-20 seconds each

 

Choose 2-3 exercises

(MOVEMENT QUALITY)

Potentiate

Broad jumps (single or multiple)

Single leg hop and stick (linear or lateral)

Countermovement jumps

Triple hops

Skaters

2 sets 3-4 reps each exercise or 5-10 seconds each

 

Choose 1-2 exercises

 

(MOVEMENT QUALITY)

 

I hope this helps you to evaluate your own or your athlete's warm-up to see what you do well and where things can be improved. If you need further help please do get in touch hello@projecmvp.co.uk.

 

If you would like to find out more about MVP, and how we can support you in increasing your physical health and mental well-being through customising training programmes, then just follow the link or get in touch.

 

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