Why an Effective and Specific Warm Up is So Important.
Written by: Dr. Allie Schroeder, PT, DPT
Don’t jump into your workout without RAMP-ing up!
Are you struggling with how to structure an effective warm up to the specific activity or training you are doing? Look no further!
Warming up may just be the most important piece of a training session and oftentimes is done ineffectively and non specific to the activity, sport, or training that a person is doing. That is why the R.A.M.P. protocol was originally developed by Dr. Ian Jeffreys. This protocol allows for an efficient and progressive warm up with specific intentions to prepare a person or an athlete for their session, training, game or race while also preparing for a longer term development process.
R.A.M.P. stands for:
Its intention is to identify key patterns used by you in your upcoming activity, training, sport, or race to ensure you are adequately prepared.
PHASE ONE: Raise
The “RAISE” phase involves increasing your body temperature, heart rate, respiration and blood flow through lower intensity exercises to start.
Exercises in this phase may include: jumping rope, jogging, side shuffle, back pedaling, high knees, butt kicks, high toe touches… depending on what activity you are training for.
PHASE TWO: Activate + Mobilize
The “ACTIVATE and MOBILIZE” phase involves activating, engaging and moving the key muscle groups and joints involved in the specific training that you are doing.
Exercises in the ACTIVATE phase may include: glute bridges (when targeting glutes), resistance band shoulder ER/IR (if targeting rotator cuff muscles), lateral band walks or clamshells if targeting hip musculature, squats, single leg RDLs.
Exercises in the MOBILIZE phase may include: lunging and squatting patterns (side lunging, march and reach, lunge and rotate).
PHASE THREE: Potentiate
The “POTENTIATE” phase involves sport specific movements that increase the intensity of the exercise. This phase is where you can add plyometric and more explosive movements. For example, if you are training for a race involving sprinting then this phase should include sprinting and potentially plyometric drills. If you are specifically doing strength training, such as squatting/lifting, then this phase may involve medicine ball throws, lighter explosive resistance training and plyometrics. Research has also shown adding plyometrics and explosive movement training to your warm up can actually improve performance in future training and competitions.
EXERCISES in this phase may include: sprinting (sprint-stop-sprint), cutting, jumping, single leg and double leg hopping, lateral bounds, deadlift for warm up sets.
This warm up is designed to be meaningful and effective. Its goal is to not take up hours of your time! Think about spending about 5 minutes in each of the phases - so you are looking at about 15 minutes total for your RAMP warm-up before activity!