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Athletes who think the warm-up is the least exciting part of a workout tend to rush through it or skip it entirely. Although the warm-up doesn't feel very important, it’s not a time to talk to friends or make plans for the weekend. It’s a chance to prepare your body for a workout and focus your mind. Have you been sleepwalking through your warm-ups? Get more out of your training by making sure your warm-up includes:
Speed drills help you master skills associated with proper running mechanics. Although you won’t be pushing your body to its full capacity during speed drills, you should concentrate on proper form to get your body ready for full effort.
A good warm-up should last five to 10 minutes and increase your internal body temperature. You’ll know if you’ve reached this goal when you start moderately sweating.
Don’t neglect the mental aspect of your warm-up. Use the time to get into the proper mindset for your workout, practice or game. Instead of joking with teammates during stretches, focus on what you can do to get more out of your training.
Dynamic and Static Stretching
Your warm-up should include a mix of dynamic movements and static stretches. Don’t be bound to a specific warm-up; instead, spend extra time on the muscles you'll be working and the movements you’ll be performing that day.
The following is a sample full-body warm-up any athlete can use before a workout or practice. Feel free to make it your own and mix in different stretches and movements specific to your sport. Complete these exercises one right after another in a circuit.
- Jumping Jacks — 20 reps
- Bodyweight Squat — 10 reps
- High Knee Pulls — 5 reps each leg
- Single-Leg Squat — 5 reps each leg
- Lunges — 5 reps each side
- Single-Leg Toe Touch — 5 reps each leg
- Side Lunges — 5 reps each side
- Push-Up-to-T — 5 reps each side
- Supermans — 10 reps
Find more stretches and drills for your warm-up in STACK’s Warm-Up Guide.
Check out Coach Taylor's SMARTER Team Training podcast below.