USA Hockey Magazine

November 2017

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18 // NOVEMBER 2017 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM PHOTO BY USA HOCKEY O F F W I N G The Benefits Of Dynamic Warm Ups And Cool Downs g By Kevin Margarucci B r i n g i n g t h e t e a m t o g et h e r for a dynamic dryland warm up allows the game focus to begin. This team stretch, which should start 40 minutes prior to play- ers hitting the ice, is designed to get the body in game/practice ready mode. Cool-downs, which aid in the recovery process, should take place as soon as possible after a practice or game. Wa r m u p s a n d c o o l d o w n s generally involve doing your activity at a slower pace and reduced intensity. A gradual warm up revs up the cardiovascular system by raising the body temperature and increasing blood flow to various muscles. It may also help reduce muscle soreness and lessen the risk of injury. Make sure warm ups are com- pleted with enough time for the team to get back to the locker room and get dressed and on the ice (or back in the locker room for the team meeting). Be mindful of the fatigue factor of the team. If your team has a number of practices or games in a short period of time, modify the length (and/or quantity) of the team stretch and warm up. For example, you may decrease the length of each activity and decrease the number of reps vs. eliminating an activity. If time (or fatigue) is a specif- ic concern, use your best judgment. Cooling down after a work- out helps with the recovery process by gradually lowering the heart rate. A proper cool down may also help reduce muscle stiffness and soreness. O n e f i n a l t h o u g h t a b o u t s t r e t c h i n g . S t r e t c h i n g c a n improve range of motion of a joint and flexibility. It's important that your players stretch after the warm- up or cool-down phase, when their muscles are already warm. P Kevin Margarucci is USA Hockey's manager of player safety and a certi- fied athletic trainer with more than 20 years of experience. Be mindful of the fatigue factor of the team. 1 2 3 4 5 3 B E Y O N D T H E X ' S A N D O ' S k Warm ups are not only great for getting ready for a practice or game, they also help bring a team together as a cohesive group.

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