Advanced Multi-Phase Warm-Up for Improved Performance

February 19, 2013 | Kelvin King Jr.

Must See Flexibility Videos

Why are muscle pulls, strains and tears a major problem for athletes today? Many of these injuries result from inconsistent warm-ups, which fail to address minor details that athletes need to focus on. (Watch Justin Upton warm up.)

Warm-ups are primarily used to increase the body's temperature. There are three major categories: passive (increasing temperature by external means); general (increasing temperature with movements not specific to the upcoming activity); and specific (increasing temperature by working body parts in a similar manner to how they will be used in the upcoming activity).

Research shows that specific warm-ups are best, because they engage muscles in the same movement patterns that they will later perform, better preparing the body for the unique demands of a workout or sporting event. Warm-ups are also designed to increase muscle and tendon suppleness, stimulate blood flow and coordinate movements.

Elevating body temperature has various athletic benefits relating to improved nervous system function and how well your body utilizes oxygen. It also appears to reduce the incidence and likelihood of sports-related injuries.

When performing a warm-up, focus on all three of the stretching categories—dynamic, static and PNF stretching. My basketball and volleyball athletes are taught to maintain good flexibility only through dynamic movements, which aid in the prevention of injuries to muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments. (Check out this warm-up you can perform anywhere.)

According to the Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education, structured warm-ups are clinically effective at preventing 50% of acute knee and ankle injuries to both male and female athletes at all ability levels.

In a previous article, Basketball Workout Program: Different Methods, Better Results, I touched on the importance of warm-ups, and of executing them barefooted to stimulate muscles that athletes typically use and often injure. I provided a beginner or intermediate-level routine that focused on neuromuscular coordination. Within the same framework, below is more advanced and complex warm-up that will recruit both small and large muscle groups and fibers, in addition to priming the body for sport-specific energy transfers.

My athletes perform the following multi-phase warm-up at the beginning and in the middle of the week. Their warm-up routines also include band stretches, wall stretches and mobility work, depending on what is programmed for a particular session.

Muscle Activation/Remodeling

Note: Perform barefoot. I train in a gym where it's usually about 30 to 40 degrees on a good day; if you train in an environment like that, start your dynamic warm-up with stretching progressions layered and take the layers off as your body heats up.

Phase 1: Joint Mobility - 4x

  • Neck Rotations
  • Shoulder/Arms - wrist movements, shoulder circles, fist exercises and arm circles
  • Trunk - hula hoop
  • Pelvis - knee exercises and hula hoop
  • Knee circles (individual and together)
  • Calf/Anterior tibialis - ankle circles

Phase 2: Quadruped Movements - 5x

  • Spiderman
  • Spiderman with arms rotating internally and externally
  • Downward Dog into Quad Squat
  • Inchworm to Leg Kick Backs
  • Pigeon to Lateral Low Stretch (each side)

Phase 3: Dynamic/Form Running - 5x

  • Knee Hug Lunges
  • Single-Leg Deadlift Walks
  • Lateral Lunge Stretch to Crossover to Dynamic Side Kick With Leg Crossing Over Hip
  • Lateral Lunges (4) to Shuffle (both ways)
  • Reverse Lunge with Hands on Ground
  • Heel Stretch to Rocking Hamstring Stretch
  • Frog Jumps
  • Duck Walks (forward and backward)
  • Hip Openers
  • Jogging Hurdle Hip Openers (forward and backward)
  • Straight-Leg Kicks
  • Straight-Leg Jump Kicks
  • Frankenstein Walks (forward and backward)
  • Toe Walk

Phase 4: Sport-Specific Full Court

  • Counter-clockwise Jumps Over Line (Full Court)
  • Jumps Over Line (Forward and Lateral)
  • Jump Rotations (feet in/out; concentrate on moving hips)

Phase 5: Mobility Sequence

Use a wooden stick or PVC pipe.

  • Stick Displacements x 5 each side
  • Trunk Rotations x 7 each side
  • Side Bends x 7 each side
  • Stick In-Air Side Bends x 7 each side
  • Squat With Stick x 4
  • Overhead Squat x 4
  • Lateral Squat x 4 each side
  • Rotate foot behind opposite leg (holding stick) x4 reps each side

Phase 6: Jump Rope Complex

(Advanced athletes must turn the rope backwards)

  • High Knees
  • Jumping Jacks - feet in/out
  • Crossing Feet - moving feet front to back
  • One-Foot Hops Forward (each leg)
  • Low-Level Pogo Jumps
  • Broad Jumps (low impact with jump rope; don't go for distance)

Research has proven that a high-intensity warm-up (volume and intensity) leads to significant improvements in performance in athletic events. An athlete's warm-up should always transition into movements he or she will use in the game. That's why we include various low-level intensity jumps, jump rope and medicine ball complexes at the end of warm-ups, which are skill transferable.

Topics: WARM-UP
Kelvin King Jr.
- Kelvin King, Jr. is the owner of Creative Athletic Movements, a
 sports performance training business. He also serves as a sports performance specialist for St....
Kelvin King Jr.
- Kelvin King, Jr. is the owner of Creative Athletic Movements, a
 sports performance training business. He also serves as a sports performance specialist for St....

Featured Videos

Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Views: 152,523
Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Views: 80,325
Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 1,267,361
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

Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,450,145
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 12,117,693
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 895,904
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,240
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,255

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Improve Your Balance with Stability Ball Exercises

Improve Your Balance with Stability Ball Exercises

Balance is essential for athletes when it comes to sports. Having good balance helps athletes make more precise and powerful movements during activity....

The Ultimate Turkey Bowl Warm-Up

The Ultimate Turkey Bowl Warm-Up

YOGA FAILS, FIXED: How to Not Mess Up Downward Facing Dog

YOGA FAILS, FIXED: How to Not Mess Up Downward Facing Dog

How to Fix 4 Common Tight Areas in Your Body

How to Fix 4 Common Tight Areas in Your Body

The Ultimate Pitcher's Warm-Up: 4 Shoulder Exercises with Bands

The Ultimate Pitcher's Warm-Up: 4 Shoulder Exercises with Bands

Best Joint Mobility Exercises

Best Joint Mobility Exercises

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises Done the Right Way

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises Done the Right Way

3 Tips To Make Your Stretching Routine More Effective

3 Tips To Make Your Stretching Routine More Effective

Flexibility for Cross Country From the Ground Up

Flexibility for Cross Country From the Ground Up

How to Release Muscle Knots and Trigger Points

How to Release Muscle Knots and Trigger Points

The Importance of Recovery Workouts

The Importance of Recovery Workouts

Must-Have Additions to Your Baseball Stretching Routine

Must-Have Additions to Your Baseball Stretching Routine

Are Tight Hips Slowing You Down?

Are Tight Hips Slowing You Down?

Go the Distance With This Baseball Yoga Warm-Up

Go the Distance With This Baseball Yoga Warm-Up

6 Thoracic Spine Exercises to Improve Mobility

6 Thoracic Spine Exercises to Improve Mobility

3 Drills for Better Hip Mobility

3 Drills for Better Hip Mobility

The Yoga Warm-Up for Basketball Players

The Yoga Warm-Up for Basketball Players

The Most Important Muscle You've Never Heard Of

The Most Important Muscle You've Never Heard Of

You're Doing It Wrong: The Warm-Up

You're Doing It Wrong: The Warm-Up

The Best Stretching Exercise for You

The Best Stretching Exercise for You

Fundamentals of a Pre-Workout Warm-Up

Fundamentals of a Pre-Workout Warm-Up

4 Ways to Increase Lacrosse Shot Rotational Power

4 Ways to Increase Lacrosse Shot Rotational Power

Green Bay Packers Discover Football's Fountain of Youth

Green Bay Packers Discover Football's Fountain of Youth

3 Exercises That Fix Common Baseball Hip Mobility Issues

3 Exercises That Fix Common Baseball Hip Mobility Issues

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises for a Safe, Effective Workout

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises for a Safe, Effective Workout

Improve Your Squat With 6 At-Home Hip Flexor Mobility Exercises

Improve Your Squat With 6 At-Home Hip Flexor Mobility Exercises

Optimizing Energy Transfer in Your Lacrosse Shot

Optimizing Energy Transfer in Your Lacrosse Shot

How Hockey Goalies Can Get More Flexible for a Better Butterfly

How Hockey Goalies Can Get More Flexible for a Better Butterfly

Animal Flow Scorpion Reach for Injury Prevention

Animal Flow Scorpion Reach for Injury Prevention

Balance Exercises That Are Game-Changers

Balance Exercises That Are Game-Changers

Why and When You Need to Change Your Pre-Game Warm-Up Routine

Why and When You Need to Change Your Pre-Game Warm-Up Routine

Increase Your Flexibility Without Stretching

Increase Your Flexibility Without Stretching

Reducing Tight Hamstrings without Stretching for Hockey Players

Reducing Tight Hamstrings without Stretching for Hockey Players

These 9 Exercises Will Improve Your Hip Mobility

These 9 Exercises Will Improve Your Hip Mobility

Why You Shouldn't Stretch 24 Hours Before a Game

Why You Shouldn't Stretch 24 Hours Before a Game

Pre-Workout Warm-Up Steps You Can't Afford to Skip

Pre-Workout Warm-Up Steps You Can't Afford to Skip

Mobility Training for Hockey Goalies

Mobility Training for Hockey Goalies

Build a More Powerful Golf Swing With These Mobility Drills

Build a More Powerful Golf Swing With These Mobility Drills

Add Warrior Poses to Your In-Season Training

Add Warrior Poses to Your In-Season Training

Dig Like a Pro: Exercises for Volleyball Mobility

Dig Like a Pro: Exercises for Volleyball Mobility

YardBarker