Safety and Injury Prevention

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1 Knowledge Article: Physical Education Safety and Injury Prevention Overview Warming up before sports and exercise can prevent injuries and help you get the best workout possible. Most athletes perform regular warm-ups when preparing for a game. They design their warm-ups to rehearse the skills that they ll need during the game. This idea is called specificity. For example, running, jumping, and agility are critical to the success of basketball players. So, exercises that develop running and jumping skills are a large component of a basketball warm-up. The intensity of a warm-up will vary based on the athlete s skill level. A professional athlete might work through a four-stage warm-up that includes light activity, static stretching, sport-specific movement, and dynamic stretching. Such a rigorous warm-up is not applicable to everyday athletes or to people who simply want to include more exercise in their daily routines. A more suitable warm-up for the casual athlete is some light activity that can increase body temperature and blood flow, which gets oxygen to the muscles and brain. There are many different types of warmup exercises. You should understand which ones suit you the best, depending on your schedule, your environment, and the kind of physical activity or sport you participate in. If you are already taking part in a structured physical activity, try the warm-ups in this article before you start your activities. The purpose of any warm-up is to supplement a more complete workout. Copyright 2012 PLATO Learning, Inc. All rights reserved. 1

2 Soccer players depend on their running skills to be successful during games. They must be quick on their feet so the opposing team does not steal the ball. Soccer players hone their endurance and agility skills through hours of practice. This three-part soccer warmup consists of drills in footwork, strength and balance, and running. Footwork For the footwork exercises, find a large open space outside or indoors. Place three cones 15 meters (50 feet) apart. If you don t have cones, you can use a different type of marker. Once you have the markers set up, complete the exercises in the table. start first middle last 15 m 15 m (not drawn to scale) Jogging start run jog Footwork 1. Start at the first cone. 2. Jog to the last cone, keeping your body tall and upright. 3. Round the last cone, and run quickly back to the start. 2

3 Running Backward run backward start run forward run backward Footwork 1. Start at the first cone. 2. Run quickly to the middle cone, and then run backward to return to the start. Keep your knees slightly bent when running backward. 3. Next, run quickly to the last cone and then run backward to return to the start. 4. Run both distances in each set. start run forward Circling Cones Footwork 1. Start at the first cone. 2. Jog to the middle cone. 3. Continue facing forward and circle the middle cone as shown here. You will shuffle sideways and jog backward as you circle the cone. 4. Jog to the last cone and circle it the same way, facing forward. 5. Turn and jog back to the start. position 1 position 2 position 3 3

4 Strength and Balance These strength and balance exercises can be performed inside or outdoors. You will want to perform these exercises on a comfortable surface, such as a yoga mat. Modified Push-Ups Strength and Balance 1. Lie on your stomach. 2. Push your body off the floor with your arms. Only your hands and toes should touch the floor. Your body should be in a straight line. Be careful not to arch your back. 3. Hold this position for 20 seconds to complete one set. Side Leg Lifts per leg Strength and Balance 1. Lie on your left side. Bend your left knee 90 degrees. Support your upper body on your left elbow and use your right hand for balance. The left elbow should be directly under your left shoulder. 2. Lift your leg and hip until your shoulder, hip, and knee are in a straight line. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds. 3. Take a short break and change sides. 4

5 Balancing on a Leg Three sets Strength and Balance 1. Keep your arms at your sides or hold a soccer ball or a similar-sized object while standing on one foot. Keep your body straight, but do not lock your knees. 2. Hold this position for 30 seconds. 3. Change legs and repeat to complete one set. Squats Three sets Squat Jumps Three sets Strength and Balance 1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Extend your arms in front of you. 2. Lower yourself, bending your hips and knees to 90 degrees, as if you were about to sit on a chair. 3. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds, and straighten up quickly. 4. When your legs are straight, rise up on your toes, and hold that position for 20 to 30 seconds. Strength and Balance 1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Extend your arms in front of you. 2. Lower yourself slowly, bending your hips and knees to 90 degrees, as if you were about to sit on a chair. 3. Hold this position for two seconds, and then jump as high as you can from that position. 4. Land softly with your knees bent. 5

6 Running For the running exercises, find a large open space outside or indoors. Place two cones on the ground 30 meters (100 feet) apart. (If the cones are still in place from your footwork exercises, simply remove the center cone.) If you don t have cones, you can use a different type of marker. Once you have the markers in place, complete the exercises in the table. first (not drawn to scale) second start 30 m Running Three sets start run run Running 1. Start at the first cone. 2. Run to the second cone at slightly less than full speed. 3. Go around the second cone and run back to start. Bounding Three sets Running 1. Start at the first cone. 2. Run to the second cone. Run with high, bounding steps, lifting your knees high and landing gently. Swing your arms wide on each step. 3. Go around the second cone, and run back to start. 6

7 Scheduled Activity 30 minutes or more Your warm-up is complete. It s time to move on to your scheduled physical activity. If you don t have an activity planned, try walking or jogging, or choose a different activity that you enjoy. Football is a fast-paced contact sport. It requires strength and endurance. Football players often incorporate stretching and balance training into their warm-ups to prepare their muscles for taking and delivering hits during practices and games. Before beginning the warm-up, find a large open space outside or indoors. Place two cones 10 meters (33 feet) apart on the ground. If you don t have cones, you can use a different type of marker. Once you have the markers set up, perform the exercises in the table to complete a football warm-up. Breaking a Sweat 5 to 10 minutes Warm up your muscles by taking a brisk walk, jogging, or jumping rope. Walking on Heels 1. Start near one of the cones. 2. Prepare for this stretch by rocking back and forth from your toes to your heels a few times. 3. Now rock back onto your heels, keep your toes up, and walk to the second cone and back. Your toes should not touch the ground. This stretch works your calf and shin muscles. 7

8 Knee Hugs Three sets Toe Touches Three sets position 1 position 2 position 3 1. Start near one of the cones. 2. Pull one knee up to your chest, hugging it tightly with your arms. Hold this position for two seconds. Keep your other leg straight. 3. Release your knee and take a step forward. 4. Bring the other knee to your chest, hugging it for two seconds. 5. Release the knee and take a step forward. 6. Continue walking in this manner to the second cone and back. 1. Start near one of the cones. 2. Stand straight and hold your arms and hands out in front of you. 3. Walk forward, kicking your leg up with each step so that your toes touch your fingers. If you cannot kick up that high, do not push yourself to stretch further. Instead, kick up as high as is comfortable. 4. Walk to the second cone and back as you kick. 8

9 Jumping Jacks 20 reps 1. Start with your feet together and your hands at your sides (position 1). 2. As you jump up, raise your arms and spread your legs (position 2); hold that position as you land. 3. Jump up again, bringing your arms and legs back to position 1. position 1 position 2 Arm Swings 10 repetitions position 1 position 2 position 3 Bear Hugs 10 repetitions 1. Holding your body straight and tight, swing your arms in opposite directions forward and back. 2. This movement is the same motion your arms would naturally follow if you were walking, except you should stand still and make exaggerated movements with your arms. 3. One swing forward and back counts as one repetition. 1. Extend your arms out to the side and parallel to the ground to stretch the muscles in your chest. 2. Bring your arms in as if you were hugging yourself. 3. One extension and one hug count as one repetition. 9

10 Small Arm Circles 20 repetitions position 1 position 2 position 3 Large Arm Circles 20 repetitions 1. Hold your arms straight out at your sides. 2. Make small circles by moving your arms forward. To help you make circles, imagine that your fingertips are drawing circles in the air. 3. After you complete 10 small forward circles, complete 10 small backward circles. 1. Hold your arms straight out at your sides. 2. Make large circles by moving your arms forward. To help you make circles, imagine that your fingertips are drawing circles in the air. 3. After you complete 10 large forward circles, complete 10 large backward circles. position 1 position 2 position 3 Scheduled Activity 30 minutes or more Your warm-up is complete. It s time to move on to your scheduled physical activity. If you don t have an activity planned, try walking or jogging, or choose a different activity that you enjoy. Basketball Warm-Up Basketball is a game that requires agility and endurance. Players run and jump repeatedly over long periods of time, which can challenge their bodies, especially their legs and ankles. Before beginning the warm-up, find a large open space outside or indoors. Place two cones on the ground so the cones are 10 meters (33 feet) apart. If you don t have cones, you can use a different type of marker. Once you have the markers set up, perform the exercises in the table to complete a basketball warm-up. 10

11 Jogging 5 minutes Basketball Warm-Up Jog around the two cones for five minutes. You should work hard enough to break a light sweat. Walking on Heels Basketball Warm-Up 1. Start near one of the cones. 2. Prepare for this stretch by rocking back and forth from your toes to your heels a few times. 3. Now rock back onto your heels, keep your toes up, and walk to the second cone and back. Your toes should not touch the ground. This stretch works your calf and shin muscles. 11

12 Skipping Five sets Basketball Warm-Up Skipping might seems like a strange warm-up, but it improves your ability to get your feet up and off of the ground quickly. 1. Start near one of the cones. 2. Skip to the second cone and back to complete one set. Walking Backward Three sets Basketball Warm-Up 1. Start near one of the cones. 2. Walk backward at a slow, comfortable pace to the second cone and back. 3. While walking, kick your feet up high toward your back. This movement is a stretching exercise, so don t exaggerate your movements so much that you feel pain. Scheduled Activity 30 minutes or more position 1 position 2 Your warm-up is complete. It s time to move on to your scheduled physical activity. If you don t have an activity planned, try walking or jogging, or choose a different activity that you enjoy. Runner s Warm-Up Runners use warm-ups that focus on stretching and cardiovascular work to improve their stamina and speed. Before you start the warm-up, find a large open space outside or indoors. Place two cones 15 meters (50 feet) apart on the ground. If you don t have cones, you can use a different type of marker. Once you have the markers set up, perform the exercises in the table to complete a runner s warm-up. 12

13 Lunges position 1 position 2 High Knees Runner s Warm-Up 1. Start near one of the cones. 2. Put one foot in front of the other, as if taking a large step. 3. Bend your front knee to as close to 90 degrees as is comfortable. Your back leg should be straight behind you. This movement is called a lunge step. 4. Step forward with the leg that was behind, and bend the knee into another lunge step. 5. Repeat the lunge steps until you reach the second cone. Then jog back to the first cone at a comfortable pace to complete the set. Runner s Warm-Up 1. Start near one of the cones and walk toward the second cone. 2. With each step, lift your thigh until it is parallel to the ground. Your leg should form a right angle, or L shape 3. When you reach the second cone, jog back to the first cone at a comfortable pace to complete the set. 13

14 Arm Pumping Scheduled Activity 30 minutes or more Runner s Warm-Up This exercise may make you feel silly, but when done properly, it strengthens the core muscles in the abdomen and lower back. A strong core helps with posture and balance. 1. While standing, move your arms in a pumping motion as if you were running really fast. Keep your body straight. 2. Continue this motion for about 15 to 20 seconds and take a break for a few seconds before starting the next set. Your warm-up is complete. It s time to move on to your scheduled physical activity. If you don t have an activity planned, try walking or jogging, or choose a different activity that you enjoy. 14

15 Appendix: Stretching Stretching promotes flexibility. Try these leg, arm, core, and back stretches. Legs 30 seconds per leg Stretching The hamstring is a large muscle group on the back of your leg, located directly below your buttocks. Stretch both your left and right hamstrings. The more flexible you are, the farther you will be able to reach. The quadriceps is a large muscle group in the front of your thigh, located directly below your hip and above your knee. Stretch it by bending one leg and pulling it toward your buttocks. Stretch the quadriceps muscles in both legs. hamstring Arms 30 seconds per arm biceps triceps quadriceps Stretching The two major muscles in the arms are the biceps and triceps. The biceps is a large muscle located on the upper part of the arm between your shoulder and elbow. The triceps is located on the back of the upper arm between your elbow and shoulder. Stretch both biceps by opening your arms wide and pushing them behind you, squeezing your shoulder blades together. For a deeper stretch, have a friend slowly pull your arms behind you. Stretch your triceps, one arm at a time. Press one arm across your body and use the other arm to push it toward your shoulder. 15

16 Core 30 seconds Back 30 seconds Stretching Your core, or abdominal, muscles are located in the center of your body, near your belly button. The core also includes the muscles on the sides of your torso that run between your rib cage and hips. To stretch your abdominal muscles, lie facedown on the ground and push up onto your hands, keeping your palms and the tops of your feet flat on the ground. Tilt your head back. Your upper body should be completely off the ground, as shown here. Stretching The muscles in your back extend from directly above your buttocks to your neck. Here, focus on muscles in your lower back. To stretch your lower back, plant your feet on the ground, lean over, and place your palms on the floor, as shown here. Try to keep your legs and arms straight. The more flexible you are, the easier it will be to keep your legs straight. 16

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