Sports and environmental temperature: From warming-up to heating-up

Sébastien Racinais, Scott Cocking, Julien D Périard

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    86 Citations (Scopus)


    Most professional and recreational athletes perform pre-conditioning exercises, often collectively termed a 'warm-up' to prepare for a competitive task. The main objective of warming-up is to induce both temperature and non-temperature related responses to optimize performance. These responses include increasing muscle temperature, initiating metabolic and circulatory adjustments, and preparing psychologically for the upcoming task. However, warming-up in hot and/or humid ambient conditions increases thermal and circulatory strain. As a result, this may precipitate neuromuscular and cardiovascular impairments limiting endurance capacity. Preparations for competing in the heat should include an acclimatization regimen. Athletes should also consider cooling interventions to curtail heat gain during the warm-up and minimize dehydration. Indeed, although it forms an important part of the pre-competition preparation in all environmental conditions, the rise in whole-body temperature should be limited in hot environments. This review provides recommendations on how to build an effective warm-up following a 3 stage RAMP model (Raise, Activate and Mobilize, Potentiate), including general and context specific exercises, along with dynamic flexibility work. In addition, this review provides suggestion to manipulate the warm-up to suit the demands of competition in hot environments, along with other strategies to avoid heating-up.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)227-257
    Number of pages31
    JournalTemperature (Austin, Tex.)
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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