Many athletes are given specific warm up procedures as they return to play. These warm up procedures are given in addition to the normal warm up, and can be done before or after the normal warm up. The specific warm up procedures help to protect the athlete against re-injury by ensuring the area has an adequate blood supply and is ready for all that will come during competition.
Extra warm up procedures target the injury to ensure it is properly warmed up. A hamstring strain will result in more dynamic stretching, and strength based activities around the hip and knee. Furthermore, agility runs may be added to prepare the hamstring for the application and absorption of forces, particularly for sports such as tennis and football.
In addition to warm up exercises, specific procedures such as a sports massage may be added. Sports massage is a passive way for the athlete to increase blood flow to the injured area. For our hamstring strain, a massage to the legs before active warm up may be advised to help prevent re-injury during the warm-up itself.
The most important aspect of the specific warm up procedures is that they target the injured area and replicate competition demands. Warm ups should always be specific to the sport. This becomes even more important as an athlete returns to play after injury. Specific warm up procedures should do the same, prepare the athlete, and the injured area, for the demands of the sport.