There are basic components that have to be embedded in a warm-up process around raising body temperature, ‘loosening up’ and preparing mindset and neuromuscular system to work optimally for the activity that follows, ETC! However, Physical development and the training qualities desired in a program can begin or be obtained in part during the warm-up, not just in the ‘main session’ that follows. This is especially true or valuable in sports where the competition frequency challenges the continuity of when structured training or loading can be acheived.
Within a training program not every position, movement pattern and expression of movement or force can always be implemented under the constraints of a purposeful and clearly defined plan. Add to that the complexities of scheduling sufficient training in leagues such as the NBA where teams travel and compete up-to three times per week. The warm up provides a window of time that we can use to create low volume accumulations of work, load and motor patterning that compliment the wider program or athlete development. Logically we often implement warm-up exercises that reflect the positions and patterns that will be stressed in the main session. In contrast the warm-up can also allow movement patterns, joint ranges and positions that are not being focussed on or completed to maintain wider movement diversity, literacy and control. Or in the case of targeting a particular tissue – prescribe a low minimal dose that has a slow return but a minimal session cost for what follows…AKA Micro-dosing.
In finance the concept of compound interest illustrates how small things can accumulate and multiply over time. Small and prescriptive investments of well reasoned exercise selection can accumulate to a significant athletic return, from a few purposeful reps that can be compounded over the frequent windows of time a warm-up provides in an athletic or competitive schedule.