If you regularly skip your warm-up, it may be time to add it back in to your routine: A recent study found a whopping 39 percent reduction in common injuries among soccer players who did an intense, active warm-up.
Danish researchers studied 4,000 male and female recreational soccer players, ranging from teens to middle-age adults. The group that followed soccer’s governing Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) 11+ warm-up — a three-part, 15-exercise, 20-minute program of planks, plyometrics, running, squats, and jumps — suffered fewer injuries.
The warm-up prevents injuries “by improving muscle strength, balance, and coordination,” says lead study author Kristian Thorborg, PhD, of the University of Copenhagen.
It’s not necessarily just for soccer players, he adds. It can also serve athletes playing other sports “that include sprinting, cutting, and rapid changes in acceleration.”
While such a warm-up could be considered a full workout for some exercisers, the study shows it’s worthwhile and good preventive medicine.
This originally appeared as “How a Warm-Up May Save You From Injury” in the September 2017 print issue of Experience Life.