Warm up is an act of heating up the muscles. It makes them flexible and loose. Muscles are used by the body to help a person perform a specific duty. As an athlete, your muscles need to be well supplied with oxygen for energy. This enhances your performance.
During a warm up, the heart beats faster thereby pumping more blood. The increased rates results to a high supply of oxygen into the muscles. At the same time, the mind and lungs prepare for the event ahead, therefore adjusting effectively. Warming up before any game is therefore crucial for any athlete, including baseball and softball players.
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Importance of warm up
It prevents the risk of injuries
It is paramount to warm up your body and muscles before undertaking any sporting activity. A good warm up prevents the body from injuries like muscle pulls which, more often than not affect people who over stretch their muscles without prior exercises.
Increased body temperature ensures that your muscles contract and relax faster and easily. Warming up some minutes before the real game brings your muscles into action. The nerves in the body transmit messages from the brain promptly which in turn increases the muscle metabolism. As a result, they are ready for action from the word go. This means that you will be super productive from the first minute which is quite vital for the success of your team.
Boosts your morale beforehand
Warm up also prepares one’s mentality about the oncoming event. It keeps you focused on the challenge ahead and in this case, softball or baseball. Warm up also prepares your lungs for the game ahead and the increased intake air.
As one starts warming up slowly, the lungs rise up to the challenge slowly and gradually thereby adjusting to a faster breathing. It is not advisable to jump into a sporting activity before warming up your body. It could lead to muscle damage and death in the worst cases.
After a great game, it is advisable to do a cool down which basically entails doing slow excises to slow the body down. A cool down will help decrease muscle soreness through stretching. It also helps in bringing down the increased heart rate slowly.
Five to ten minutes of slow work out will bring the body to its usual state. The stretches should be firm but not to the extent of causing pain on the muscles. Cool down should take five to ten minutes after any game.
Therefore, it’s advisable that the team in the field for a cool-down, instead of rushing out of the field to the dressing room.
How do you warm up for baseball and softball?
Warm up is divided into two; static and dynamic.
Static Warm up
Static warm up is the kind of exercises done to stretch the muscles from a static position. Static method of warm up is a good way to start warming the body up. However, it should not be considered as the only mode of exercising.
In this method of warm up, the temperature of the blood remains unchanged. Therefore, it does not heat up the body. When doing static warm ups, one should ensure all major muscle groups are stretched and placed under tension.
This type of warm up is aimed at ensuring all muscles stretch and relax gradually. The essence here is to minimize dangers of injury during the play. Static warm up is very important in prevention of muscles and tendon injuries and should last for about 10 minutes.
Dynamic warm up
Dynamic warm up involves jogging, jumping and running where activities. The activities are more rapid in this mode than in static warm ups. The heart pumps blood more rapidly making the circulation faster thus heating up.
Due to the high rate of activities in Dynamic Warm up, there is increased blood flow. This translates to a higher supply of oxygen and heightened generation of heat in the muscles.
Increasing the muscle temperatures ensures that the rigid muscles get relaxed. This means that they can stretch, as need be, to boost performance. Dynamic warm up ensures the athlete reaches their physical and mental peak.
How to warm up
When doing warm ups, one should consider beginning with the dynamic warm ups. These are slightly rigorous activities. They include jumping, jogging, and swimming. As the muscles warm up, one can run a few laps which should go for at least 15 minutes. However, the warm up can go on for a bit longer.
After that, one can then switch to static warm ups which involves stretching the muscles. At this stage of warm up, the muscles stretch easily because they are already warm. Warm ups are done with view of the activities at hand. Footballers gear their warm ups towards football while runners direct their warm ups towards that kind of sports. The same case applies with those playing softball and baseball.
Fitness and You
Players are supposed to be fit in and out of season. This means that excising should be an integral part of their routine. However, these players are allowed to rest for a day or two to help with muscle recovery and relaxation.
Since both baseball and softball are somewhat aggressive, it is important that the players are safe in the field. Players are taught how to protect themselves while playing and also to protect their partners. Players are provided with protective gear like helmets for their heads and pads for their knees and elbows, mouth guards and foot ware without spikes.
Players of baseball and softball should be given special attention while in the field because they are young and small injuries like a direct hit to the chest could be fatal. The youth should continually be encouraged to play in order to have a healthy society. A good diet also aids in good muscle development thus minimizing injuries during exercises playing the game.