Warm up your muscles and ligaments before going out to play, regardless of your sport, say most sports medicine and health specialists.
Here are recommended warming exercises from doctors of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons:- Arm circles. Hold arms out to the side with elbows straight. Make five circles forward and five circles backward.
- Shoulder stretches. Stand or sit, holding your throwing arm at the wrist with your other hand. Put your arm over your head and pull gently, feeling your upper arm against your head. (You should feel the stretch inside your shoulder.)
- Side bends. While standing, bend to the right, then stand up straight again. Do this five times and then five more times going to the left. You can keep both hands on your hips or let one arm come overhead when you bend.
- Running in place. Count each step as one and continue until you reach 100.
The orthopedists say to do the exercises carefully; speed isn't important. You'll know you're warmed up when you begin to sweat a little.