5 Ways to Screw Up Your Warm-Ups | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

5 Ways Athletes Screw Up Their Warm-Ups

November 19, 2012 | Bill DeLongis

Must See Sports Injuries Videos

Growing up as an athlete, you've probably performed several warm-up variations—some more effective than others. You can probably recall your gym teachers having you run laps and do Push-Ups and Sit-Ups at the beginning of class. Although the idea was on track, many common warm-ups have serious issues that can impair your performance and put you at risk for injury.

Here are five ways you might be screwing up your warm-ups, and how to correct them:

Forgetting Thermogenics

Always start with something that elevates your heart rate and increases blood flow to your muscles, such as a light jog and Jumping Jacks. Perform a two-minute light jog followed by 15 Jumping Jacks. If you don't have the space to jog, jump rope instead.

Starting With Static Stretches

According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), evidence shows that beginning a workout or sporting event with static stretches (stretches held for time) decreases strength and reduces performance. Also, static stretches have not been proven to prevent injury. Save static stretches for after your workout (Check out this post-workout static stretching routine from the Utah Jazz).

Avoiding Dynamic Stretches

You have to bring the joints you are about to use through their full range of motion via dynamic stretches that mimic athletic movements. If you fail to do this, you put yourself at risk for injury and may impair your performance during the first minutes of your game. Watch this video of a dynamic warm-up and perform it before your workouts.

Neglecting Injury Prevention

If you're not healthy, you will not be able to play or perform at your highest level, so injury prevention should be at the top of your list of things to do. To stay in the game, perform the following exercises during your warm-ups.

Upper Body

External Rotation

Sets/Reps: 1x15 each arm

Internal Rotation

Sets/Reps: 1x15 each arm

Lower Body

Lateral Band Walks

Sets/Reps: 2x15 each way

Lifting Heavy Loads Too Quickly

If your max set on your Squat—or any exercise—is, say, 315 pounds, don't start with 315 pounds on your first set. Begin with an empty barbell for a few reps, then add more weight and work up to your max set. Don't wear yourself out during your warm-up sets. You don't want fatigue to limit your main sets. Watch Andrew Luck perform the "World's Greatest Dumbbell Warm-Up."

Take your warm-up to the next level with the STACK Guide to Warming Up.

Bill DeLongis
- Bill DeLongis, CSCS, is the assistant director of speed, strength and conditioning at Stony Brook University, where he works with baseball, volleyball, men's lacrosse, women's...
Bill DeLongis
- Bill DeLongis, CSCS, is the assistant director of speed, strength and conditioning at Stony Brook University, where he works with baseball, volleyball, men's lacrosse, women's...
Must See
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 4,857,332
Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks
Views: 23,792,114
Michael Jordan: Mind of a Champion
Views: 544,789

Featured Videos

James Harden on Becoming a Franchise Player Views: 72,546
Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 28,813
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 574,257
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,880,088
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,359,483
Colby Lewis's Four-Seam Fastball Technique
Views: 5,011,383
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,834,380
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,880,088

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Why Strengthening This Muscle May Fix Knee Pain

Achilles Tendon Ruptures: Prevention and Recovery

3 Ways to Prevent the Most Common Hockey Injury

The Secret Weapon Powering Stephen Curry's Resurgence

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

5 Bodyweight Exercises to Prevent Baseball Injuries

Bulletproof Your Body with 5 Easy Injury Prevention Exercises

4 Strategies to Prevent Tommy John Surgery

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

How to Treat Piriformis Syndrome

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

STUDY: Imaginary Exercise Helps You Recover Faster From Injury

Outsmart Injury With These 4 Predictive Tests

5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Muscle Injuries

How to Prevent Injuries With 3 Yoga Poses

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

Basketball Players: Prevent Ankle Sprains With These 3 Exercises

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

The 8 Most Dangerous Exercises for Your Shoulders

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

6 Simple Tips to Prevent Knee Injuries

What You Need to Know About Tiger Woods' Back Injury

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

How to Train With Running Blisters

8 of the Most Ridiculous Off-Field Athlete Injuries of All Time

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

Avoid Low-Back Pain With These 7 In-Season Exercises

10 Ways to Fix Back Pain

Eliminate Elbow Pain with These 3 Methods

7 Ways to Fix Back Pain

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

Coaches: Prevent Injuries With the Recovery Management Tool

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

Sports Hernias: What You Need to Know

How to Bench Press With a Shoulder Injury

The Future of Sports Injury Rehabilitation

Tips for Working Out With a Hand or Arm Injury

3 Causes of Recurring Hamstring Injuries

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

5 Exercises to Prevent ACL Tears

6 Ways to Prevent Common Sports Injuries