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Introduction

Pre-match warm up

The warm up should begin approximately 30 minutes before kick-off:

  1. 10 minutes.

    The warm up should begin with 10 minutes of running to increase core and muscle temperature. This should start with easy jogging and build up to 3/4 pace running so that the heart rate is raised to 160bpm (as measured by a heart rate monitor). The players should have a light sweat on at this stage.

  2. 5 minutes.

    Once the body temperature has been raised, static stretches should be performed for all major muscle groups. These should not be painful at all.

    Stretches >

  3. 5 minutes.

    Following static stretches, the player should actively mimic activities that he may have to carry out in a game - i.e. without a ball, he should go through the actions of side foot passing, high kicking, jumping and heading, squatting and jumping, etc.

  4. 10 minutes.

    Once warmed up and flexible, the players should introduce a football and go through functional activities. These include heading, short and long passing with both feet, running backwards, sideways, skipping, stopping/starting, sprinting, and sprinting and turning.

In addition to this, research suggests that a three minute post half-time warm up and stretching routine may reduce the occurrence of second half muscle and tendon injuries.