Do You Warmup Properly?

Warming-up is as old as time itself, and yet, unfortunately, it can become mundane quite quickly, and therefore kids and young athlete’s will often skip them, or will simply “go through the motions”…

Aph stretching her hip-flexors prior to some lower body strength work

Aph stretching her hip-flexors prior to some lower body strength work

Warmups are incredibly important for a multitude of reasons. They greatly enhance performance and decrease the risk of injuries, and yet far too many kids and young athletes will skip them, or coaches will simply throw something together and not schedule them correctly

Warmups should be specific to the type of activity that is about to be performed, so planning them must begin the question “what is my intention”… is it an upper or lower body dominant session, is it a speed session and therefore require ballistic stretching in the warmup…

They should also have specific components that help to prime the CNS and entire body for the work ahead. And in our simple manner, here are the specific components required in a warm-up and examples of what our Academy warmups look like for our young clients and athletes

 

Structure

Increase the core temperature of the body: 2-5min of light aerobic movement. This could be a slow jog, bike, row, bodyweight exercises, etc… anything that is going to get the body moving and the blood flowing. Keep the intensity around 50%

Improve Range of Motion (ROM) in the body: 3-10 minutes of performing dynamic and static stretching. Dynamic stretching should take up the predominant portion of the time, and all should be specific to the activities that will be performed. For example, if it’s going to be a lower body dominant session, then spending extra time on the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and quads will make sense

The turkish getup (without weight) is a great addition to warmups

The turkish getup (without weight) is a great addition to warmups

Establish a fluid ROM: 2-5 minutes of mobility drills specific to the activities that will be performed

Specific Warmup: this is where you would begin with skill components and exercises specific to the sessions intention. This is the final step before the actual work begins

 

Academy Examples

Coaches Note: we have a base warmup and then upper-body and lower-body specific warmup, as well as a speed/explosive work specific warmup that s added onto the base warmup depending on the sessions intention for that client
 

Basic Upper Body Intention

  • 250m jog
  • Cat Stretches
  • Opposite Arm Opposite Leg
  • Hip Opener Stretch
  • Hip Pulses
  • Leg Swings
  • “No Money”
  • Wall V to W
  • Self Hugs
  • Rotations
  • Arm Circles (all ways)
  • Mexican Waves
  • SOS’s
  • Shoulder Dislocations
  • Pillar to Planks
  • Plank Reaches
  • 3 Rounds of bodyweight pushups and bodyweight supine rows

 

Basic Lower Body Intention

Farmers Walks are also a great addition to warmups

Farmers Walks are also a great addition to warmups

  • 250m jog
  • Cat Stretches
  • Opposite Arm Opposite Leg
  • Hip Opener Stretch
  • Hip Pulses
  • Leg Swings
  • “No Money”
  • Wall V to W
  • Self Hugs
  • Torso Rotations
  • Deadbugs
  • Single-Legged Glute Bridges
  • Hip Circles
  • Lunges w/ Thoracic Ext + Rotation
  • Inch Worms
  • 3 Rounds of bodyweight squats/box squats and bodyweight deadlifts or bodyweight turkish getups

All of the above is a base-example and generally takes 15 minutes tops and has our kids and young athletes well warmed up and primed to get stuck into their training. Things will chop and change to keep it fresh, and if it’s a power or speed focused session, things will look quite different

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the intention behind warmups, their importance, and how to go about programming them for the benefit of the kids, teenagers, and young athletes

Nick Maier