3 Principles for the Perfect Dynamic Warm-Up

Apply these three principles to your next warm-up to boost your athletic performance in the gym and on the field.

Ever seen an athlete so eager to start a training program that he rushes or completely ignores his warm-up? I've seen it many times. Athletes go through the motions without much awareness, often looking slow and sluggish. Maybe you've been in this situation too. Maybe you aren't sure how to warm up effectively.

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Starting a training program is exciting, but the benefits you gain from it directly depend on how well you do your warm-up. A poor warm-up (or the lack of a warm-up altogether) increases the risk of injury and decreases performance in training. An effective warm-up does the exact opposite.

A successful warm-up prepares you physically and mentally. It sparks a momentum leading you into your training session and ultimately leading you to become a better athlete. Here are three principles for a perfect Dynamic Warm-Up.

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Effective Warm-Up

1. Structure

A warm-up without structure can break the flow and momentum prior to training. But if you have a system in place, it's easier to progressively gear up to readiness. Whether you start from static to dynamic, ground-base to multi-directional movement, or activation to movement prep, a structured warm-up prepares you well for training. More importantly, it keeps the structure simple and enjoyable, making preparation fun and motivating.

2. Education

The warm-up session is the best time to learn fundamental movements. This is your chance to master basic movements like Squats, Hip-Hinges, Lunges, etc. It's also a great time to polish up some skills like deceleration, acceleration and jumping. It may seem boring, but it plays a role in progressively improving your performance.

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3. Mindset

Your approach to your warm-up determines your approach to your training session. When you warm up with purpose, focus and precision, chances are you will approach your training in the same manner. Having a positive mindset during warm-ups is very important for building self-confidence and preparing you mentally for your training sessions. A more focused and confident athlete is better at executing the task at hand. This can be as simple as taking a few minutes to visualize a successful training or practice session.

Your warm-up isn't just about breaking a sweat before training. It's an opportunity to prepare yourself physically and mentally.

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