Completing a warm-up before games, rugby practices, and physical conditioning sessions (e.g. weights or running) prepares the mind and body for the harder activities to follow. Please note the following features of a warm-up:
- Duration of 10 – 25 minutes (depending on the activity to follow);
- Intensity needs to progress from easy (e.g. jogging) to moderate (e.g. running) to high intensity (e.g. sprinting) activities and exercises; and
- Incorporate movement patterns and dynamic stretches that are similar to what you are about to do in the session to follow. For example, complete kicking patterns if you are about to do a kicking session, or body weight squat movements if you are about to do some Barbell Back Squats in the gym.
Completing a cool-down following games, rugby practices, and physical conditioning sessions (e.g. weights or running) allows the mind and body to relax and commence the process of physical recovery. Please note the following features of a cool-down:
- Duration of 5 – 15 minutes;
- Intensity needs to be easy (e.g. walking or jogging); and
- Incorporate static stretches (please consult a qualified conditioning coach for direction on which static stretches are appropriate).
In addition to a cool-down, there are other things that can be done to improve your recovery from the session you have just completed. Please note the following:
Food and fluid consumption (see Hydration and Nutrition ); and
Treat any soft tissue injuries with the R.I.C.E.D. procedure and remember to avoid H.A.R.M.-ful factors (see Injury Management section).