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The Perfect Warm Up

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

Warming up before training and competition can help enhance performance and prevent injuries, so it must be done right. The backbone of every perfect warm up can be broken up into 4 distinct phases denoted by the acronym R.A.M.P.

R.A.M.P stands for Raise, Activate, Mobilize, Poteniate. Here i'll go through what each phase involves and how they contribute to preparing you for training and competition.


Goals and key points for the raise phase:

  • Elevate body temperature

  • Elevate heart rate

  • Elevate respiration rate

  • Increase blood flow

  • Increase joint viscosity

  • Increase efficiency of oxygen transportation throughout the body

  • Lower viscous resistance in muscles (secretion of synovial fluid which prevents tearing when muscles perform a task)

  • Don’t completely waste on jogging

  • Dedicate to low intensity technique and movement drills

Activate and Mobilise

Goals and key points for the activate and mobilise phase:

  • Stimulate and mobilise key muscles and joints that will be used.

  • Includes upper and lower body weight compound exercises such as lunges, hip thrusts and push-ups or if you do a sport like wrestling the exercises can be crab walking, penetration stepping and knee circles.

  • Includes joint mobilisation exercises such as ankle, hip circles and chain breakers.

Static Stretching in the Activation and Mobilisation Phase

Static stretching, to do or not to do? here's a few points for you to consider before stretching up:

  • Static stretching should be included in your warm-up if your sport demands flexibility for certain techniques or if general whole-body flexibility is needed to gain technical advantage (eg. gymnastics, wrestling, jiu jitsu).

  • Static stretching can cause power loss but these losses are re-gained after the next phase of the R.A.M.P warm-up, the potentiation phase.

  • Even if there is a loss in power, gaining technical advantage is a justifiable trade-off.

  • Increasing sport-specific ROM with static stretching can reduce over-extension injuries in positions that require extreme flexibility.

  • Don't waste time on static stretching if you don't need flexibility. For example, if you're in combat sport, assess your style of combat and whether or not flexibility is a pre-requisite for your style. If it is, then stretch in the warm-up as well as after and in your own time.

Wrestling is a sport that requires extreme flexibility in potentially match-winning positions

Ballistic Stretching in the Activation and Mobilisation Phase

Ballistic (or bounce) stretching affects the tendons, while static stretching stretching doesn't. If your sport involves a lot of running, jumping, bouncing, springing or pushing then add bounce stretching into your warm-up. Here is an example for long jump:



Goals and key points for the potentiation phase:

  • Technical and tactical drilling at the required pace to potentiate and increase readiness to perform.

  • Increase explosive power, reaction time and strength.

  • Gradual shift (intensity and complexity) toward the actual sport performance or workout itself.

Sample Warmup

Here's a sample of my warm-up which i try to do in every session in the sport of wrestling


· Skipping

· Stance & Motion

Activate & Mobilise

· Narrow Climber

· Wide Climber

· Ankle Rolls

· Shoulder Rolls

· Wrist Rolls

· All-Fours Hip Ext/Int Rotation at Varying Degrees of Hip Flexion

· Cossack Position Hip Mobilizer

· Seated Position Alternating Hip Ext/Int Rotations

· Deep Lunge

· Downward Dog into Bridge

· Pushups

· Backward Rolling

· Forward Rolling

· Shuffle and Sprawl

· Bear Crawl Lateral

· Bear Crawl Forward & Back

· Neck Bridges

· Various Stretches


· Technical and Tactical Drilling

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