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 I will try to explain my thoughts and approach to a proper warm-up from a scientific perspective. 

Proper warm-up which includes mobility exercises allows significantly to increase range of motions and boosts your performance in the workout. The essential components of a comprehensive warm-up are:

  • Myofascial release

  • Stretching

  • Dynamic drills and tissue activation

Doing a myofascial release using a foam roller, you decrease trigger points and knots within muscles which will in turn increase your mobility and movement quality. Improving mobility in the ankles, hips, and shoulders are essential for injury prevention. Mike Boyle, a sports and conditioning coach and author of Advances in Functional Training, offers this analogy: Picture a band with a knot in it. As you stretch, you are pulling the band apart and simultaneously tightening the knot. Attacking tissue density with myofascial release works to untie the knot before stretching ensues (Boyle, 2010).

Stretching elicits an acute increase in tissue length which improves flexibility and movement quality in the following workout. Some evidence has suggested that static stretching prior to athletic performance does not decrease injury and can, in fact, decrease power production and thus performance (Samuel et al., 2008; Thacker et al., 2004). However, these results are far from conclusive, as other studies have found no reduction in power-productive capabilities related to static stretching (Alpkaya and Koceja, 2007). Moreover, almost all clients need some static stretching to address common postural deviations that put them at risk.

Mobility exercises evoke short-term and long-term increases in performance which will lead to greater results. The dynamic portion of warm-up integrates active stretching exercises, sport-specific movements, and neural activation exercises. These modalities are performed to mimic the movement-specific demands of the activity, address movement deficiencies, increase core and ligament temperature, stimulate the nervous system, increase stability, and activate proprioceptors (Yauss and Rotchstein, 2011). 

Properly designed warm is intended to accurately prepare the body for physical activity. There are three important elements of the proper warm-up: myofascial release techniques, stretching techniques, dynamic warm-up, and mobility drills. Combining all these elements ensures an increase of movement quality and performance in the workout and injury prevention. 

*Resources used: 
Boyle, M. (2010). Advances in Functional Training (ebook). Aptos, Calif.: On Target Publications. 
Samuel, M. et al. (2008). Acute effects of static and ballistic stretching on measures of strength and power. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 22, 5, 1422–1428.  
Yauss, B., and Rotchstein, A. (2011). The acute and chronic benefits of movement prep for the soccer athlete. NSCA’s Performance Training Journal, 10, 3, 1116.