Feb 17, 2017Starting Out Strong
As a coach, you are most likely implementing warm-ups into your athlete’s daily routine. Whether preparing for game day or practice, warming up your athletes is essential for a safe and successful performance. One of the most effective ways to keep them injury free is through incorporating dynamic warm-ups into your coaching methods.
Dynamic warm-ups are movement patterns and exercises that are designed to increase body temperature. Doing this gets body tissue, joints, and the nervous system ready for exercise, increases flexibility, and creates a greater range of motion. They reduce the risk of injury while also helping your athletes to perform their best.
The list of exercise options in dynamic warm-up is endless, but a general rule of thumb is to include ones similar to movement patterns needed in your specific sport. At the same time, you should strive to implement movement patterns that target each muscle in the body.
“When your body has a chance to recruit more muscle, muscle fibers and joint flexibility for any workout, you’re better able to generate maximal power, in turn increasing performance,” writes Lisa Reed on Livestrong.com. “Performing specific mobility drills allows your mind to tell your muscles to get ready for the movements in your workout.”
A dynamic warm-up should be placed at the beginning of a workout and last from 7-10 minutes. Here is an example of one routine from Marc Perry, creator of BUILTLEAN. Each of these should be done with at least 10 reps for 1-2 rounds.
- Lunge with a Twist: Step forward and drop your hips for the lunge. Make sure that your front knee does not extend beyond your toes. While in the lunge, slowly twist toward the side you are lunging.
- Knee to Chest: Bring your kneecap into your chest while hugging your shin. Step onto your toes with the opposite foot to add leverage. This can be done in place or while walking.
- High Kicks: Starting on your right leg, extend your left arm straight out. Kick your leg up while keeping both leg and arm straight so that your toes hit your palm. Repeat with left leg.
- Hip Stretch with a Twist: Start in a push up position and bring your right foot up to your right hand. Keep your hips down and lower back flat. Twist to your left and extend your arm towards the sky. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
- T-Push Ups: Start in a push up position and lower yourself towards the ground. While pushing back up, extend your right arm towards the sky. Keep your left arm and hips stable. Return to starting position, do a push up, and repeat with the left arm.
- Jump Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your hands on your head. Squat down until the hips are about parallel with the ground, then push yourself up and off of the ground. Land softly and repeat.
- Jump Lunges: Place your hands at your sides or behind your head. Start with one foot extended forward and one behind. Drop your hips downward and forcibly jump into the air. While in the air, switch your legs.
To see these motions in use, check out the Full-Body Warm Up Routine on this YouTube video.