The ultimate warm up guide
Whether you are about to enter the football pitch, do a workout or go for a run; warming up is the most important thing you can do to maximise your performance and minimise injuries.
In this blog, I have created 5 WARM-UPS depending on your fitness level and workout objectives + all crucial information that will help you make the most of your warm up!
What, when & how long?
A warm-up is a short phase that takes place before a session of physical activity. A warm-up usually goes for 5-15 minutes before a workout and 15-30 minutes before a game. A good warm-up should include light cardiovascular activities, stretching and dynamic exercises.
Importance of warm-ups
The warm-up sets the tone for the rest of your workout. The quality of your warm-up means that you are maximizing your potential performance and greatly minimizing the chance of injuring yourself.
A quality warm-up allows you to lightly move your body before you begin executing intensely physical activities. By gently increasing your movements, it allows blood and oxygen to flow throughout your body, which better prepares you for the workout to come. If your body is not warmed up, the injury rate increases once you decide to execute an intense movement.
As well as loosening and warming up the body, warm-ups also allow you mentally preparing yourself for the task ahead. It is critical to focus when you are working out or playing a game. If you are focused, you are more likely to execute exercises correctly, avoid injuries and get the most out of your body for that session.
Finally, warming up is necessary for your health. As you slowly increase the intensity of your movements in your warm-up, it significantly helps to minimise stress on your heart while increasing oxygen and blood supply throughout your body.
Benefits of warm-ups
1. Injury prevention
2. Improved performance
3. Better health
Warm-ups for everone
Below I have created 5 Warm-Ups for people of all ages, fitness levels and goals. You can do these warm-ups anywhere, anytime and zero equipment is required. Let's do this!
This warm-up is a shorter session - perfect for a beginner level athlete who is preparing for their workout.
BEGINNER WARM-UP EXERCISES AND INSTRUCTIONS:
- Open Leg Stretch x 20 SEC
- Dynamic Hamstring Stretch x 10 REP
- Standing Hamstring Stretch x 10 SEC
- One Leg Stretch x 20 SEC
- Quadricep Stretch x 20 SEC
- Plank Crawl x 3 REP
- Single Leg Toe Touches x 4 REP
This full body warm-up is fit for intermediate or advanced athletes. It is the perfect session before a training and can even be used as a workout for beginners! We will be working on balance, flexibility, agility and endurance.
INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED WARM-UP EXERCISES AND INSTRUCTIONS:
- Plank Crawl x 2 REP
- Childs Pose Stretch 10 SEC
- Stretching Forward Lunge x 3 REP
- Interchanging Stretching Forward Lunges x 8 REP
- Push-Up Half Burpees x 3 REP
- Holding Squat x 3 REP
- Pulsing Squat x 10 REP
- Front Squat x 5 REP
- Frontal Kicks + Reverse Lunge x 10 REP
- Frontal Short Kicks + Single Leg Toe Touches x 10 REP
- Forward Lunge x 10 REP
- Pulsing Lunge x 5 REP
This warm-up is designed for athletes who are going for long distance run. This short session involves very stretching and cardio based exercises and is suitable for everyone!
RUNNING WARM-UP EXERCISES AND INSTRUCTIONS:
- Knees Up x 20 SEC
- Heels Up x 20 SEC
- Hip Rotations x 10 REP PER SIDE
- Hip Rolls x 5 REP PER SIDE
- Shoulder Rolls x 10 REP
- Front Leg Swings x 10 REP
- Interchanging Leg Swings with Jump x 10 REP
I designed this warm-up specifically for footballers. Whether they are preparing for their game or coming on as a substitute; this is a super dynamic, highly energised and agility focused warm-up.
SOCCER WARM-UP EXERCISES AND INSTRUCTIONS:
- Open the Gate x 10 REP PER SIDE
- Close the Gate x 10 REP PER SIDE
- Single Leg Toe Touches x 4 REP PER SIDE
- Lateral Leg Raises x 6 REP PER SIDE
- Lateral Leg Circles x 10 REP PER SIDE
- Pulsing Lunges x 8 REP PER SIDE
- Front Leg Kick with Jump x 10 REP PER SIDE
- Knees Up + Jump x 4 REP
- Plank Crawl x 2 REP
- Push-Ups x 5 REP
Dynamic mobility warm-up
The focus of this warm-up is to be slow, controlled and to feel the stretch during the dynamic stretches. This warm-up specifically increases the range of movement in the back, hips and legs.
DYNAMIC MOBILITY WARM-UP EXERCISES AND INSTRUCTIONS:
- Dynamic L x 8 REP PER SIDE
- Dynamic L Backwards x 5 REP PER SIDE
- Swinging Table Top x 30 SEC
- Active Leg Lowering x 5 REP PER SIDE
- Dynamic Sit Up with Leg Reach x 15 REP PER SIDE
1. Static Stretching
Static stretching is better for cooling down after your physical activity as this can decrease your power.
2. Ballistic Stretching
This is a type of dynamic stretching however it involves aggressive and vigorous movements that can be dangerous to the muscles.
3. Push it too hard
At the end of your warm-up, you should still be feeling fresh and without stiffness. If you feel very fatigued or in pain during the warm-up, you are working too hard or you are in a bad condition.
Adapt your warm-up
Another thing to note about warming up is that it is important to adapt every session to your current condition and goals. If you feel you need to work on a problem area, take more time to warm up that part of your body.
If you are playing football, ensure that parts of your warm-up are moving with the ball. If you are planning to lift weights during your workout, incorporate some very light weights at the end of your warm-up to help prepare your muscles.
Do what feels right and safely execute exercises to your body’s capabilities. Remember if you are feeling pain, stop and seek help before continuing your physical activity.
I hope this blog has given you a little more insight into why warm-ups are important and what happens to your body at this time. I would love to see you using the #TRUSTMYCOACH warm-ups as well so let me know how you go!