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Sometimes warming up can seem like little more than a meaningless chore – something that takes up a lot of time, but that doesn’t seem to give a great deal of benefit. However, warming up is really one of the most important parts of soccer practice, and without a great warm up, playing can present a lot of challenges.
Here are six reasons that kids should never skip the warmup!
1. Warming up boosts muscles.
What happens during the warmup process is that muscles get a big boost thanks to increased blood flow to them. Muscles get a boost from the extra nutrients, allowing for kicks to be harder and runs to be faster.
2. Warming up increases oxygen.
The body needs oxygen when it’s exercising in order to perform at its peak. The better the flow of oxygen, the better performance is going to be. During a warm up, we start to take deeper breaths, filling the lungs full of that much needed oxygen and sending it out to all parts of the body to support a stronger warmup and a more efficient practice.
3. Warming up raises body temperature.
Why would we want to raise body temperature? To prevent injuries! Warm muscles, ligaments, and tendons are less likely to get strained or pulled. They’re more fluid and easier to move, which allows for better flexibility and fewer injuries.
4. Warming up supports the heart.
All that running and kicking during soccer requires a strong heart, and the increased bloodflow to the heart that happens during a warmup supports the heart’s ability to push the body faster and more healthfully. It also just provides some great long-term benefits for kids in terms of long-range cardiovascular health.
5. Warming up transitions the body.
Going from walking or sitting to vigorous physical activity, like soccer, calls for an incredible amount of change within the body. Going from zero to full speed isn’t good for the body, causing a ton of extra strain. Warming up provides a bridge that keeps the body from being shocked with a sudden high level of exercise.
6. Warming up transitions the mind.
There’s a lot going on in life. From school, to family, to other activities: kids have a lot on their minds. The warmup in soccer serves as a perfect transition from the outside world to the world of soccer, signalling to kids that it’s time to focus on training.
For these reasons and more, it’s so important to never miss a warmup!