Ingjer, F., & Stromme, S. B. (1979). Effects of active, passive, or no warm-up on the physiological response to heavy exercise. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 40, 273-282.

Three types of warm-ups were described.

  1. Passive warm-ups (e.g., taking a hot shower, having a rubdown, sitting in the sun) increase the body and skin temperatures and physiological reactions associated with heat removal. It is doubtful whether this type of warm-up would have any beneficial effect on performance except in circumstances where the body initially was abnormally cold.
  2. General/non-specific warm-ups. Muscle temperature is increased in a more effective manner than that afforded by passive warm-ups. The physiological benefits directly related to increased muscle temperature and better circulation are derived. There would be little performance enhancement effect. The main benefit from a general warm-up may be the reduction in injury potential.
  3. Specific warm-ups. These produce major performance benefits if specific activities that simulate competition actions and intensities are included. The physiological reactions that mimic those of the competitive effort also need to be attained. Specific warm-ups are best employed after completing a general warm-up. If a specific warm-up was attempted without adequate general preparation then the likelihood of injury is increased.

Implications. There are some further considerations with regard to specific warm-up:

  1. the nature of the activities depends upon the event and the individual;
  2. a 1 to 2 degrees Celsius increase in central core temperature is desirable;
  3. a light sweat over the entire body is the best indicator of the correct temperature;
  4. fatigue in the warm-up should be avoided; and
  5. the benefits of the warm-up are lost after between 5 and 45 minutes of rest. Once a specific warm-up is completed the athlete should remain active.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.