Movement preparation is preparation done by the athlete based on the upcoming training session, practice, or competition. You can think of this as the warm-up but with a few distinct differences.
Let us first define what the goal of a warm-up is; the goal of a warm-up is to optimize performance while decreasing risk of injury during practice and competition.
Traditionally defined, a warm-up is composed of low intensity aerobic activity, a few examples of this are taking a light jog, taking a light bike ride, and doing some jump rope. Furthermore, a warm-up is composed of static stretching of specific muscle groups, and lastly, general skill rehearsal. The proposed benefits of a traditional warm-up is to increase flexibility and decrease muscle stiffness, increase body and muscle temperature, and increase muscular post-activation potentiation Although, this might seem like a pretty good way to warm-up, the traditional approach does not adequately prepare athletes for practice, training, or competition. Yes, including light aerobic activity to increase body temperature has potential benefits but static stretching has the potential to negatively affect power and strength. In fact, some studies show that static stretching does not really reduce the risk of injury before training. Though, don’t get me wrong, static stretching has a time and a place in your training but not prior to training, rather its better used after training.
With that being said, we would like to re-define what a warm-up should be, with what we call Movement Preparation instead. Why? Because Movement Preparation is more comprehensive and is more adequate in preparing athletes for training, practice, and competition than the traditional warm-up. Movement preparation takes into consideration movement specificity (general vs. specific), movement direction (linear vs. multidirectional), movement coordination (static vs. dynamic), movement velocity (slow vs. fast), and movement force (low force vs. high force) , giving the athletes a better way in preparing their bodies for the movements that are about to follow.
Movement Preparation is defined by EXOS as an integrated approach to prepare the athlete physically and mentally for the demands of training and competition through a progressive and specific preparation period. The components of Movement Preparation are as follows; general movement such as light aerobic activity; hip activation with mini bands, dynamic stretching as opposed to static stretching; movement integration; and neural or CNS activation.
When doing movement preparation, you’ll have to reverse engineer, so to speak, to be able to design a thorough and complete movement preparation. You’ll have to design the preparation based on the dominant movements and directions that the athlete will be exposed to in training and competition. A good movement prep will have all the components I mentioned above based on the upcoming session. It should have hip activation exercises, dynamic stretching exercises, movement integration exercises, and neural activation exercises.
Think about it, having good movement preparation not only helps improve performance, but also has long-term implications on performance when compared to the traditional warm-up.
This is why we propose movement preparation instead, as a better way to “warm-up” and get you ready, as opposed to the traditional definition. So, what are you waiting for, book a trial with us, and experience what good movement preparation is. We will teach you and show you the best and most effective way to do it.