Arriving thirty minutes prior to a football match to warm up may seem pointless, but as Tottenham's first team fitness coach, Nathan Gardiner, explains warming up prevents injury and ensures smooth performance during the game. Read below as Gardiner explains to FourFourTwo why it should be a vital part of your pre-match ritual, and how to get the most out of a warm up.
For Gardiner, he believes that positives of a warm up before a game are clear. "The benefits of a dynamic workout are pretty well documented. You have to take your muscles through a range of dynamic and progressive movements to prepare them for the game."
Warming up is also useful for things other than comfort of the body during the match. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, according to the Tottenham fitness coach. "If you don't do that you'll be at risk of injury when the game starts."
"If you haven't gone through that dynamic range of movement and you've only performed static stretching you'll potentially be in trouble if you have to react to a ball and you try to bring it down on the move."
A solid and well thought out warm up, followed by a cool down (post match) is just the ritual that any serious footballer should be planning on undertaking on a regular basis. It's the next step to ensuring top performance.