How you start your performance, practice, training or game can determine how you finish. If you simply do one or two light sets or just walk around before the first whistle, you’re doomed to have a subpar day. Taking your warm-up seriously can play a factor in how serious of a threat you are in the final seconds.
Your goal with a proper warm-up should be to prepare properly. This starts at the ground level, or in your case, your feet. As you progress, you should focus on working your way up to your neck. This warm-up protocol can help you in the gym or in any sport. Your only rest between movements is the time it takes to transition from one to the next.
Calf Raises – Start by wiggling your toes for 10-15 seconds. After this, rise up on your toes and feel your calves flex. Lower your feet back to the ground and repeat. If you can do these off of a step, that would be even better because you can lower your heel further to get a deeper stretch.
Squat Jumps – This will help you activate all of the lower-body muscles. Find an open space and perform 5 Squat Jumps. Jump as far forward as you can. Once you complete your fifth, turn around and jump five more times until you’re back where you started.
Platform Lunges – Stand by a step, pick one leg up and place your foot on the step in front of you. Lean into that step like you were doing a Lunge. Return your foot to the starting position and repeat with the other foot. Continue until you’ve performed 10 for each leg.
Lying Leg Raise – Now we shift to your trunk. Lying Leg Raises are great for your abs and lower back. Simply lie flat on the ground and raise your legs straight up until they are vertical. Raise your hips for a second and return them to the floor. Slowly return your legs to the ground and repeat for 10 reps.
Partner Towel Rows – Roll up a long towel and fold it in half. Have a partner hold the folded end. Stand facing your partner while you both hold the towel. You pull the towel as if you’re performing a row. Your partner should be providing extra resistance but let you complete the movement. Now have your partner do the same while you provide resistance. This is one rep each. Perform 15 reps per person.
Pause Push-Ups – You know how to do a Push-Up. The only difference here is momentum won’t be a factor because you’ll pause both at the bottom of the rep without touching the ground and when you’re pushed up. You only need to pause for a second before continuing. Perform 15 reps.
Plank – You likely know how to perform a Plank as well. Hold this position for up to one minute. Remember to keep your abs tight at all times.
Once you’ve completed all of these movements, perform all of the basic stretches for the body like you have in the past. Start with the calves and work your way up until you’ve stretched the entire body. Stretch each area for 10-15 seconds. By this point you should be ready to go and compete at your best.