Intended for healthcare professionals


Warm-up programmes in sport

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 10 December 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2381
  1. John H M Brooks, rugby football union injury risk analyst1,
  2. Samuel J Erith, head of sports science2
  1. 1Rugby Football Union, Twickenham TW1 1DS
  2. 2Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, Chigwell, Essex IG7 5AB

    Can reduce injury, and should be recommended at all levels of participation

    Injuries sustained by participants in team sports place a considerable burden on medical services,1 2 and they often disrupt the lives of those injured. Evidence based strategies to prevent injury should therefore be encouraged. Sports teams often perform a warm-up routine with the dual purpose of improving performance and reducing the risk of injury. Although the theory that warming up effectively will reduce the risk of injury makes sense, data from the sports medicine literature are equivocal, and this theory has rarely been proved through randomised control trials.3

    In the linked study (doi:10.1136/bmj.a2469), Soligard and colleagues report a cluster randomised controlled trial of an injury prevention programme in young female football players in Norway.4 A 20 minute warm-up intervention was conducted before training sessions and matches. The warm-up routine consisted of a series …

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