Warming up the body has numerous benefits and is vital to athletic performance. There are many ways to warm-up, and this is a topic that has been researched for years. I always encourage my athletes to make sure their body is prepared for their desired event.
I believe it is important to discuss why you should warm-up. Here are some reasons why to warm-up before an event.
- Increased heart rate
- Increased body temperature
- Improved mobility/stability at certain joints
- Practice certain movements that your event requires you to do
- Increased motor unit recruitment
Designing a warm up depends on a few factors, but if you generally follow this algorithm you will feel properly prepared for your event.
- If applicable/needed, start with any soft tissue message
- Move to ground based movements/stretching/mobility work /flow work/restoring joint position
- Perform any standing in place movements
- Perform any walking or forward/sagittal plane movements
- Perform forward/sagittal plane dynamic movements
- Perform lateral/frontal plane dynamic movements
- If applicable, perform an event specific power movement
A proper warm-up needs to be based on the athlete’s specific needs and movement baseline. With that being said, there are some general warm-up exercises that most athletes can perform.
Try adding these three movements prior to your next event. If I were to classify these three movements, number one would be a ground based flow movement. Number two would be a standing in place movement. Number three would be a walking sagittal plane movement.
- Ground based flow mobility movement
This a great movement to do to loosen up your hips all 3 planes of motion, as well as your t-spine rotation and core stability. You can really play around with this one, as there are many other variations of this “flow series”
2. Lateral in place lunges
In place lateral lunges do a terrific job of getting a good hip hinge/squat on one leg, and good adductor length, control and strength on the straight leg. By adding in breaths in the end range portion it helps prepare the body to be in these end ranges during your event.
3. Inch worms/ bear crawls
Inch worms and bear crawls have a lot of value because a lot of good things are happening to the body. The both work core stability in 3 planes. They both help increase scapular control and upward rotation, as well as some added hip mobility. This will start the process of increasing heart rate and blood flow before you begin your typical dynamic warm-ups.
All these can be either done for reps or time. Give these warm-up exercises a try, as they will really start to prepare your body for your event!