Most of the time, the success of your training/practice sessions depends on how well you do your warm-ups. I often see athletes rush through the warm-up or just “go through the motion” without awareness. There are days where the athlete’s going to feel tired and unmotivated to train, which is why a successful warm-up can make a difference. It can spark a momentum leading into the training sessions.
Here are the three key principles that can make an athlete’s warm-up BETTER:
STRUCTURE – By having a system in place, it’s easier to progressively gear the athlete up to readiness. Whether they start from static to dynamic, ground-base to multi-plane movement, or activation to movement prep, it helps prepare the athlete for training. A warm-up without structure, can break the flow and momentum prior to training.
EDUCATE – The warm-up section is the best time to teach and learn fundamental movement and performance. Basic movements like squats, hip-hinge, lunges, etc. can be mastered. It’s also a great time to polish up some athletics skills like deceleration, acceleration, and jumping.
MINDSET – Your approach to warm-up will determine your approach to your training session. When you do your warm-up with purpose, focus, and precision, then chances are you will approach your training in the same manner. In contrast, if you perform your warm-up with sluggish and sloppy technique, then this approach will also transfer into your training.
Warming up just to break a sweat prior to your activity is a blown opportunity, instead use these principles to get the most out of your warm-ups.