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Ramp {Raise,Activate And Mobilize, Potentiate} Protocol For Warm Up

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March 11, 2022
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With ever evolving fitness industry it won’t be incorrect to say that warm up has been the most underrated aspect of training. Although, people who understand the importance of warm-up phase give it equal weight as their main training.

warm up

Given a situation, think about an athlete who has been attending a fitness lecture from his / her coach for 3 hours straight now he / she has to perform a sprint for 100 meters without warm up,

These are the questions that would arise straight away:

1} Will this athlete have a faster muscle contraction and relaxation of both agonist & antagonist muscles?

2} Will this athlete have enough rate of force development?

3} Will this athlete have enough blood flow to active muscle tissue?

4} Will this athlete have enhanced metabolic reactions which will allow for the subsequent activity to happen optimally?

5} Will this athlete have enough injury resistance while performing?

And honestly we all know that the answers to all above mentioned questions is “NO”

Having an understanding of warm up & its advantages is extremely important for subsequent sport performance / activity as a good warm-up will prepare an athlete both psychologically and physiologically. The structure of the warm-up influences potential improvements; as such, the warm-up needs to be specific to the activity to be performed.

Because of this, National Strength & Conditioning Association {NSCA} recommends a protocol for warm-up known as RAMP.

RAMP Stands for

R-Raise
A-Activate

M-Mobilize
P-Potentiate

Raise: Involves activities that raise the level of key physiological parameters but also the level of skills of the athletes. This phase is cognate to the general warm-up and has the aim of elevating body temperature, heart rate, respiration rate, blood flow, and joint fluid viscosity via low-intensity activities. Though a critical aspect to remember is these activities are unlike traditional warm-up activities, these are not simply general aerobic exercises; instead, they attempt to stimulate the movement patterns of the upcoming activity that will be similar to the movement patterns the athlete will deploy within the sport.For example: A sprinter will do small bouts of light intensity runs which will not only increase athlete’s core temperate but also prepare major muscles involved in sprinting such as Quadriceps, Hamstring, Gastrocnemius & Achilles tendons etc..

Activate and Mobilize: The second phase is activating and mobilizing, which corresponds to the stretching and mobility component of a typical warm-up. Activating the muscles with in the sport spectrum using some active or passive stretches so that they are well prepared for the subsequent sports performance.For example: A sprinter will activate his / her:

Iliopsoas & Rectus Femoris : Using Forward Lunge Fencer

Hip extensors {Gluteus Maximum & Hamstrings}: Using Supine Knee Flex

Hamstrings & Gastrocnemius: Using Sitting Toe Touch

To make sure that he / she has enough muscle activation when sprint will be performed.

Mobility,or actively moving through a range of motion, requires a combination of motor control,stability, and flexibility and more closely relates to the movements requirements an athlete will face in his /her sport. Continuing with the example of sprinter after activating the muscles that will be used for sprinting an athlete will like to increase joint mobility by performing dynamic stretches. Joints like, knee,ankle,hip,and glenohumeral get used extensively while sprinting so, performing drills to increase range of motion of these joints with proper neural control would be beneficial. For example: A sprinter can perform dynamic  stretches such as

lunge walk

Lunge Walk :To actively engage hip, knee,and ankle

walking knee

Walking knee lift: Similar to Lunge Walk to actively engage, hip, knee,and ankle

shoulder flexion

Shoulder flexion and extension mimicking sprint mechanics

Potentiate: This phase is homologous to the specific warm-up but importantly also focuses on the intensity of activities. This phase deploys sport-specific activities that progress in intensity until the athlete is performing at the intensity required for the subsequent competition or training session. This phase is vital for performance, especially in activities that require high levels of speed, strength ,and power {like sprinting}.Indeed, the more power necessary for the sport or activity, the more important the potentiation phase of warm-up and including high-intensity dynamic exercises can facilitate subsequent performance. For example: A sprinter would mimic sprinting movements closer to the actual intensity. Drills such as A skip, Double arm bound, Power skip can be performed.

The benefits of a good warm-up are immense and the output it yields specially using the RAMP protocol can make a manifold difference to ones performance. RAMP workout should be included before any training session OR sport activity.

Manu Ruhail

Certified Personal Trainer, American Council on Exercise {ACE} * Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, American Council on Exercise {ACE} * Certified Behavior Change Specialist, American Council on Exercise {ACE} * Master Trainer, Level 1 & 2 For International Kettlebell & Fitness Federation {IKFF} * Master Trainer, BOSU Balance Trainer * Candidate Master of Sports {CMS} & Place 1, Kettlebell Sport, Biathlon, IGSF World Championship, Australia, Melbourne, November 2019 * Candidate Master of Sports in Biathlon, IKFF Kettlebell Championship, Feb/05th/2020 * Candidate Master of Sports {CMS} & Place 1 in Snatch only, 24 Kg X 1, 30 minutes at IKMF World Kettlebell Championship, France, Nov 2021


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