The whole purpose of a warm up is to get the body ready for the demands of training.
We can usually break this up into a few pieces:
- Increase body temp
- Increase range of motion in mobile joints
- Increase stability in stable joints
- Mimic what is going to be done in the session
Hitting these 4 categories is going to get any participant prepared for their session.
A warm up does not need to be the same for everyone. Athletes that are going to be running and changing direction should probably get moving on the turf. Adults that are only going to be lifting weights may not need to necessarily be sprinting and cutting.
At the end of the day whatever you pick for a warm up exercise should fit into one of the 4 categories above.
What does a Warm Up look like?
Foam Roll- 3-5 minutes, 3-5 exercises
Most of our clients will hit the roller before the session starts. They know what muscles are tight and will get those areas. Not everyone needs to do a ton of rolling and the younger athletes might not really have to. We show everyone but it is up to them to actually do it.
Athletes can be taught how to roll the quads, glutes, and back. I also like rolling the lats, IT bands (the right way), and the groin/ inside of the quad.
Activation- 1-3 minutes, 2 sets of 2 exercises
With the mini band we can get the glutes and core firing. A typical example would be lateral band walks and hip extensions with the band. 2 sets of 8 each is good enough for the warm up.
Mobility- 3 minutes, 3-4 exercises
Shoot for ankle mobility, rockbacks, groin rockbacks, and body weight squats to get the hip and ankles loose.
8 of each on each side is often enough.
Dynamic Flexibility and Build Ups- 8 minutes
At this point we are ready to get moving.
- Half speed run- 30 yds and back
- Quad walks- 15 yds
- Hamstring walk- 15 yds
- Knee hugs- 15 yds
- Open/close the gate- 15 yds
- 3/4 speed run 30 yds and back
- Walking lunge- 15 yds
- Front scales- 15 yds
- Walking spiderman- 15 yds
- Lateral Lunge- 15 yds
- Full speed 30 yds and back
This will take about 15 minutes and we can move on.
This is just simply an order that I will often use but it is not the only way to do the warm up. Think about 8 major movements used to get the athletes moving and add in some build ups in between. Other options for build ups include shuffle, carioca, skipping, and bounding.