Chasing Greatness

Warm up Drills for Athletes

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An effective warm-up must consist of a series of dynamic and active movements that start with low impact, low intensityexercises and progress naturally to high intensity, full speed ‘exercises that simulate the intensity of the upcoming practice orcompetition.

As you know, in order for you to be ready to perform speed work or compete at high intensities, you must get warmedup properly.

We often find that there is some confusion as to what constitutes a proper warm-up. For example, some coaches are still using static stretching to get athletes loose before practices and competitions. Unfortunately, this outdated method actuallyreduces speed and power.

Think about it: how often during a practice or competition does an athlete hold a stretch position as part of their sport? That is right, not very often. So if you are still using this methodto get ready to compete, you are not getting the most out of your ability.

Instead, perform dynamic exercises that are similar to the types of movements you will be going through during practiceand competitions. Keep moving and gradually increase the intensity of your activity. That way you can get the blood flowing into the muscles through a natural progression.

Remember, a good warm-up should take at least 20 to 25 minutes to complete. This will reduce the likelihood of injury by ensuring that you do not try to go too fast too soon. In addition, you will get the most out of your muscles because you followed a thought-out progression of movements that went from low intensity jogging and skipping to high intensity speed development drills and exercises.

By the time you have finished warming up, you will be lightly sweating, fired up and ready compete!

Another issue to note when doing any type of drills is to make sure that you are performing the exercises correctly. You compete like you practice. If you are not performing the drills correctly you are going increase the likelihood ofinjury by adding unnecessary stress to joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Drills are designed to be done a certain way for a specific reason. If you are not technically sound during the warm-up you will not be technically sound in games and competitions when it counts. The warm-up is the foundation of the day’s activities and sets the tempo for all that is to follow it.

So now that you know what types of activities must be done and how to approach them, let us take a look at an actual dynamic warm up that top athletes and coaches use to get ready each day.

Before trying this out, be sure to jog and/or skip for aboutfive minutes.
Here is a sample warm-up:

High knee walk – x 10 each leg
Jog 50 yards
Lateral lunge walk (both legs) x 10each leg
Jog 50 yards
Front leg swings – x 10 each leg
Jog 50 yards
Lateral leg swings – x 10 each leg
Jog 50 yards
Iron cross – x 10 each leg
Jog 50 yards
Scorpion – x 10 each leg
Jog 50 yards
Backwards run – 2 x 30 yards
‘A’ skip – 3 x 15 yards
‘A’ run – 2 x 20 yards
Fast leg – 2 x 30 yards (each leg)
Accelerations – 4 x 40 yards.

By performing this type of warm-up every day, you will be loose, powerful and fast. In fact it is the only way.

Be sure that you perform a dynamic warm-up before eachpractice and competition; otherwise you are not competing to the best of your ability and the likelihood of sustaining an injury is increased.

For sample warm up routines, step by step instructions for over 48 dynamic warm up exercises and active stretches (and how they fit into your overall training program) check out:

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