Starting practice with a well thought out dynamic warm up is an important beginning to any training session. I’ll cover several reasons why a dynamic warm-up is key to performance and training longevity. Most teams that I see warm up do a static warmup which doesn’t prepare a body for high intensity activity. Pacing mat side isn’t a warm up that prepares you for success on the mat.
Elevate Heart Rate
Increasing the heart rate is one of the most vital aspects of any warm-up because it turns on the body and mind and allows for the important chemicals and hormones in our body to begin releasing. The physiological systems (respiratory, cardiovascular, circulatory, musculoskeletal, endocrine, neurological, and even metabolism/digestive) throughout the body increase body temperature, blood flow, cardiac output, and prepare oneself for intense training. When these processes start the body’s chemicals actually help the brain deal with and focus on what is about to come.
It also begins the aerobic processes that can enhance workout capacity at the onset of a workout to increase the body’s ability through a periodized training segment.
Increase Core Temperature
Turning on the body increases core and celular temperature and ensures that the muscles, tendons and ligaments and joint capsules are prepared for higher-intensity movements. Warming muscle tissue allows it to be able to move through its full range of motion and perform better, specifically during a wrestling match. The wrestler with the most dynamic and flexible muscle tissue tends to be more athletic during a match. This is a major edge in performance and injury resistance.
Increased Blood Flow to Muscle Tissues
When we exercise, blood flow is pushed from the core (intestines and stomach) and pumped towards the working muscles, lungs, heart, and brain to enhance cardio and muscular performance. By adding a dynamic warm-up you can ensure that oxygen-rich blood is being delivered to your muscles at the onset of training. This can stop the chemical dump and cardio challenge that many athletes feel a couple of minutes into an intense activity if they don’t warm up.
Turn on the Nervous System
Dynamically warming up allows the nervous system to send the body and brain the necessary signals for improved communication for blood flow, mind-muscle connections, and motor patterning. It’s easy to see the importance of the warm up for the body but the dynamic warm-up also helps the mind to fully prepared for the coming intensity. Mindset is so important in practice and competition that the same warm up should be used in practice and competition.
By itself a dynamic warm up can remove previous workout debris that is still in the body while increasing overall body flexibility. Key areas should be focused on, I like working as many parts of the body together and going from the bottom up with 10 minutes of moving warm ups and 10 minutes of dynamic stationary warm ups.
Decreased Injury Risk
The evidence is pretty overwhelming that a dynamic warm up can result in a heightened level of injury resilience during high intensity activity. Muscle weakness and strains, tendon and ligament sprains, lack of mental focus and general performance issues all seem to be higher without a good warm up.
To Rehearse likely Body Movement
While performing a dynamic warm-up it is important rehearse the movement patterns of your sport. Drilling footwork, busy hands, shots, knee slides, pop ups, etc. all help increase speed for practice and matches.
My Outline. Tweak for your sport. Message me if you need help.
Run, high skips, high knees, back pedal, side shuffle karaoke and squat jumps.
These exercises help to increase the rate of force creation through the muscles of the foot, calf, hips, quadriceps, and hamstrings. They also build coordination and help get fast twitch to its potential. I use a variation of this opening for Wrestling and football practice.
Walking Lunges with an overhead arm reach of 2-3 seconds. I break this out because the lunge does all the things the above warmup does plus it build strength and improve balance. Lunges increase hip, knee, and ankle mobility and prepare the joints for end range movement and force output. The reach helps to stretch the anterior chain and challenges balance at the ankle with a moving center of balance. The anterior stretch is very important and usually over looked? So many older athletes loose actual height with chronically tight psoas muscles. There are many variations to the lunge once forward with an overhead reach is mastered. I generally do them in reverse and side lunges too.
Bear, Spider and Crab walk.
We are moving up the body and getting the torso and shoulders involved. Do each exercise in reverse after going forward is mastered. I’ve seen so many quality athletes struggle with the bear crawl that the spider crawl isn’t possible. These kids generally have weaker cores and higher rates of injury in my experience.
Light jumping can find its way into dynamic warm-ups to prepare an athlete for more explosive and higher impact plyometric drills. Simple knees to chest, hops, skips, and bounds can all happen in the dynamic warm-up phase of the training session.