Thursday, June 5, 2014

Active vs. Passive Warm Up

Comparison of Metabolic and Biomechanic Responses to Active vs Passive Warm Up Procedures Before Physical Exercise.
Brunner, Strasser, Haber

This study compared the effect of active vs. passive warm up procedures before exercise on energy supply and muscle strength performance.  It was found that light warm up (at 30% VO2 max) proved to have the most favorable influence on heart rate and oxygen consumption during exercise.  Passive warm up (hot pack, etc) has been shown to modify metabolic and circulatory responses to exercise in similar as active warm up.

Active warm up was found to be superior may be due to the vasodilatory effect of active warm up on the pre-capillary resistance vessels, which speeds up the blood flow to the working muscle, by decreasing vascular resistance.  This study found that short term performance after active warm up was increased compared to passive warm up.  

My Take:  It has been shown in several research studies that active warm up produces the best ready state for the body and allows it to perform at it's peak level.  This type of warm up, often called dynamic warm up, is essential for optimal performance and should be implemented alone.  Along with these findings it has been found that static stretching (stretch and hold) can decrease performance.  Active warm-up is a must and a good program should be implemented for all athletes and active individuals.  This is truly the best way to go for warm up and things such as “rolling” and stretching before should be saved until after the workout as it prepares your body to get into a state of recovery and will not affect performance.

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