Ques: What’s a warm-up?

Ans: In simplest language something that warms up the musculoskeletal structure and align the central nervous system for the activity we perform on the field of sport we play.

If you find non-stop running insane for warm-up then what would you call therabands and foam rollers!! The other extreme? I am shocked when I see the use of any of these props for physical warm-ups. Who brought these up? What were they thinking? Whatever the reason is….they have missed out on the basics of human body structure and its working. I can write a few pages on what warm-up does and here is one example that explains how we should look at a warm-up.

Here is the example:

SSC (Stretch Shortening Cycle) is often spoken about in plyometrics. Nobody speaks about its usage in running or any other activity that we do on the field. However interestingly it comes into play in any field sport – stance to push phase/running/jumping etc.

Now let us study the mechanism causing SSC and what it does:
a) Residual force enhancement (improvement in force when eccentric is followed by concentric)
b) Storage of elastic energy
c) Muscle length change
d) The stretch reflex
e) Pre-activation

Now think of Cricket/Baseball/Hockey etc. where a player is required to take off with their best speed from a stance phase. They would need all the above to shoot off.

Ques: What is activation? What is the best way to activate muscles?

Ans: By working through the musculoskeletal structure creating different movements on the basis of their function to activate the sleeping muscles and warming up the rest. Any movement is a work of several muscles and therefore, when we speak about activation it CAN NOT BE about one part or few muscles for a warm-up. It has to be whole body sequence facilitating the movements and making inter joints/muscular transitions smoother.

Learning: Do not underestimate the importance of a warm-up. A warm up helps with all the above by working through the muscles, movements, and CNS.

Caution: Do not make therabands or foam rollers a replacement for physical warm up!!!!!!!!!


If anybody in the world likes to challenge this then please come forward and lets discuss this on any open platform with science reasoning.

Umesh Chhikara

Sports Scientist