Characterization of Warm-Up in Soccer: Report from Portuguese Elite Soccer Coaches

Ricardo Ferraz1, 2, *, Paulo Ribeiro1, Henrique P. Neiva1, 2, Pedro Forte2, 3, 4, Luís Branquinho4, Daniel A. Marinho1, 2
1 Department of Sport Sciences, University of Beira Interior, 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
2 Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD), Covilhã, Portugal
3 Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Bragança, Portugal
4 Higher Institute of Educational Sciences of the Douro, Penafiel, Portugal

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© 2021 Ferraz et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Sports Sciences, University of Beira Interior (Covilhã), Portugal Convento de Santo António 6201-001 (Covilhã) Portugal; Tel: +351 275 329 153; Fax: 00 351 275 329 183; E-mail:



Warm-up before competition and training is a strategy that is widely acknowledged to improve players’ physical condition and performance. However, the importance of warm-up is not well understood and so there is a research gap into this topic.


This study aimed to characterize the warm-up of professional soccer players by differences and similarities between different coaches’ methodologies.


A group of thirty-two Portuguese elite soccer coaches participated in this study An observational study design was conducted through a cross-sectional descriptive questionnaire with nineteen questions. During the questionnaire, coaches were asked to provide specific information about the warm-ups prescribed for soccer players, about their importance from a technical, physical and psychological point of view and the importance they attached to the warm-up / reheating of substitute players. The questionnaire was administered to the coaches at the end of a training session.


The results indicated that there is no consensus regarding the type of warm-up that should be prescribed. There are different opinions between elite coaches regarding the warm-up components that must be emphasized in order to prepare players for the game demands. Moreover, considering the tactical, technical, physical, and psychological dimensions, the coaches have different perspectives of the warm-up.


This study allowed to conclude that there is no standard regarding the prescription of warm-up in professional soccer players, in the opinion of coaches. This is mainly due to the fact that there is a distinct appreciation in relation to the importance and influence of warm-up for performance.

Keywords: Players, Exercise, Performance, Body temperature, Muscle, Intensity, Duration.