The RAMP protocol for warm ups

A warm up has many benefits such as physical and mental readiness for activity, reduce injury risk and improve performance.

The RAMP protocol was a concept I came across while doing a strength and conditioning course earlier in the year. The acronym stands for raise, activate and mobilise and potentiate/performance.

In the raise part of the warm up we are looking to

  • ↑ Body temperature
  • ↑ Heart rate
  • ↑ Respiration rate
  • ↑ Blood flow
  • ↑ Joint viscosity

This is best done through simplified and modified versions of what you intend to do in the session. This should be done at low intensity, multi directional movements and dynamic range of movement exercises. This section should generally take around 5 minutes to complete.

In phase 2, the activate and mobilise section, the aim is to activate key muscle groups and mobilise key ranges of movement required for the session. Examples of exercises performed are,

  • Mini-band routines
  • Balance work
  • Superman’s and inch-worm’s
  • Squats and lunges
  • Sumo shuffles
  • Spinal mobility exercises (flexion, extension, lateral flexion, and rotation)

This part of the warm up needs to be specific to the task ahead and shouldn’t follow a one size fits all approach. We look to spend around 5 minutes in this section too.

In phase 3, the potentiate/performance phase is where you prime yourself for the task ahead and fine tune any movements you are about to perform. The two main aims here are too,

  • ↑ Intensity to a comparable level the athletes’ are about to compete in.
  • ↑ Improve subsequent performance utilising the effects of post-activation potentiation

This is where you will include your sport specific drills or plyomentric type exercises. These type of exercises help with a concept called post activation potentiation. This phase should last around 10 minutes.

Following this protocol allows for gradual progression in intensity from a resting state to that of one that is ready for activity.

About the author

Michael is an Osteopath, trainee strength coach and competitive powerlifter.

The RAMP protocol