In the previous weeks, we discussed the importance of a good warm-up, and how it can positively affect performance. Click here to catch up if you missed the first article, on why a good warm-up is essential for performance.
Last week we discussed the general good components of a warm-up, and the effects they should illicit on the athletes. You can read that article here.
This week, we're going to create an actual, detailed warm-up, and discuss the exercise selection. Let's get into it!
Remember: The warm-up should always be reflective of the training that will follow, and the individual athlete's specific needs. This ensures the athlete's body is optimized for the specific task at hand, and we are time efficient. This means that you can, and should, have different warm-ups for different types of training, and that individual athletes have slightly different warm-up variations! Individualization is maybe the most important factor of successful athlete development.
In order to demonstrate this, let's define what we're warming up for. A typical day of training at Summit would start with skill work (hitting/throwing) followed by work in the weight room. Let's develop a warm-up for each of these bouts of training, to show the differences between the two. Included will be the spaces in which individualization will be placed.
Skill Work / Practice Warm-Up
Q: What body segments and systems are we going to use in order to complete a training session of hitting, throwing, and general practice?
A: All of them. So, let's make sure we get the body ready from head to toe.
Here's what your warm-up might look like. Remember the RAMP protocol discussed previously? It will be included here so we can understand the results each exercise should have on the athlete.
Forward Skips- Raise
Backward Skips- Raise
Straight Leg Walks- Mobilize
Quad Pulls- Mobilize
Lunge w/ Twist- Activate
Figure 4- Activate
Lateral Lunge- Activate
10,20,30y Accels- Potentiate
You'll notice several things from this plan.
This warm-up Raises the vitals, Activates the muscles, Mobilizes body segments, and Potentiates the neuromuscular system. Our athlete's body is primed, and their mind is also locked into training mode. They can now go train at an optimal level! Once the athlete is familiar with this sequence, it can be completed in 10-15 minutes. This is a short sacrifice for the vast effect it will have on training.
Weight Room Warm-Up
Once an athlete is done with their skill work, they should take a short break to refuel the body, rest momentarily, and relax the mind. Once this is done, it's time to hit the weight room. Let's get their minds locked back in, and their bodies primed before they start training.
Remember: The athlete is pretty well hot and ready to go already, thanks to their first training session. This will alter the weight room warm-up, along with the demands of the weight room. Let's assume it's a total body day. Even so, this warm-up can be knocked out in less than 10 minutes.
F/B Leg Swings- Mobilize
Lateral Leg Swings- Mobilize
OH Squat- Activate
Stick Front Lateral Squat- Activate
Stick Front Lateral Squat Back and Forth- Activate
Stick Front T Spine Extension- Activate
SL Stick RDL- Activate
In the weight room, athletes do not just slap their first set on the bar and get after it. They ramp up to their first set, this is where the potentiation would take place during a weight room warm-up.
This brief but effective warm-up will have athletes' minds and bodies ready to get the most out of their time in the weight room. In certain instances (athletes with less experience in the weight room) we may choose to spend more time practicing the patterns of the major movements. For advanced athletes, the LB plyo section may blend into a short speed/acceleration segment, which will improve gains in the weight room, and help with carrying over to the field.
Now that we've seen the nitty-gritty details of the warm-up, the next step is to understand how it all fits into a practice plan. Tune in next week for a full day's programming at Summit Sport Performance!