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Why Proper Warm Ups Help You Jump Higher

By Dr. Riley Williams with contribution from Evan Schwartz .

If you want to “Be Like Mike” and soar above the rim, here’s a tip: it’s not about the shoes, it’s about the warm up.

Watch any football or basketball game, and you’ll notice players on the sideline riding stationary bikes.  No, they’re not trying to sneak in a quick workout between plays.  They’re warming up.

One of the keys to preventing injury and achieving peak performance is keeping muscles and joints warm. And if you are looking to perform at your peak and jump like an NBA superstar, you need to warm up like one too.

 It’s not about the shoes, it’s about the warm up.

The Science of Warming Up

A study published by Dr. Kristopher Jones, Sports Medicine Fellow at the Hospital for Special Surgery, stated that warming up “…can have a broad range of effects through positive alterations in metabolism, blood flow, nerve conduction, and the viscoelastic properties of soft-tissue.”  Translation: warm muscles perform better and react faster. So how do you warm up correctly?

First of all, if you want to jump higher you need to put yourself on an appropriate training regimen to build your strength and explosiveness.  But in order to do the best you can with what you’ve got, you have to warm up properly.  That means moving around a bit with a slow jog, bounces, jumping jacks – anything to get your blood flowing..  You can also warm up using external heat sources like heating pads or hot towels.

Dr. Jones’ study also pointed out that using a hot roller device such as the Therma1™ can be an even more effective way to warm up.  An advantage of using Therma1™ is that it not only applies heat to your muscles and joints, it also allows you to apply massage and compression. Therma1 amplifies the positive effects of heat by helping the heat penetrate deeply into your soft tissue, while the compression action loosens muscles and works out kinks.

Next time you’re watching a pro game on TV, you may just see players ditching the bike for Therma1.


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