While searching for the most effective warm-up exercises, every athlete must do before practice; we tried to ask our strength experts, what they think about which exercise in specific should be done by every athlete to improve its overall conditioning. So, after researching a lot about this topic we understood that, Exercises are very personal to individual to individual, and it’s impossible to tell one warm-up exercise that would work for everyone, the workout which works on you, doesn’t mean it will work on me as well. Before we start, let’s talk about dynamic exercises and static stretches.
What are dynamic exercises?
Dynamic exercises or workouts are done before your actual workout; you might have heard of dynamic and static stretching workout before and wondered how they are different.
Dynamic exercises are done to prime your body to higher intensity workout and exercises like for example, “any form of cardio jogging or cycling, movement-based stretches like lunges and squats. And static stretches can help you increase the range of motion and flexibility like triceps stretches, hamstring stretches, etc.
It helps build mobility, strength, and coordination for your overall workout.
So, in this blog, I will share 11 exercises or movements every athlete must do irrespective of the sport they are into. The only thing that matters is, the sport should include moving of the body, strength building, and conditioning.
These exercises would work for several sports from football still fighting, and you are not limited to sticking to just one workout. Work on several of them, and you would feel the change while you are playing.
The human body is made to move, and moving body every day has significant value. These dynamic exercises will help you wind up after a long day of working out or help you with the sour body the next day you go for warm-up exercise, and help you avoid injuries.
#1 Dead bugs
The dead bug involves lying on the mat with face up and the arms in the air above your torso and legs, bending your knees while making an angle of 90 degrees. And when you get in this position, lower your opposite hand and legs slowly in the ground position while the other two opposite one hand and one leg in the air. Repeat this process, with alternative hands and legs. This seems simple, but you have to completely stabilize through midsection if you want to perform this abs exercise. It’s total core movement which not only helps you work on your abs but also helps you get a better form in your overall game.
This exercise honors the natural body structure, which decreases the chance of injury while you practice.
This means some parts of your body is meant to be mobile like for example, “hips and ankles’ ‘ while others are meant to be stable like your lumbar spine. And here since you are lying on the ground, and pressing the lower rib cage, you’re engaging the lower muscle of the core and protecting your lower back.
#2 Massage your feet with a lacrosse ball.
Your feet are in socks, shoes most of the time while you are warming up or playing your sport, and muscles, tendons, and ligaments of that part of the body that have been forgotten to care about. On these scenarios massaging with your lacrosse ball will help you activate muscles and avoid cramps and injuries while you are working out.
Lacrosse ball is hard and they don’t soften with pressure, and because of this, it can be used as a powerful message object which can help you get rid of pains and injuries.
Some benefits of Lacrosse ball massage.
- Increase joint range of motion.
- Decrease fatigue after exercise.
- Help in overall muscle performance.
- Decrease sourness.
Lacrosse ball massage is also a form of self-myofascial release. The fascia, which is the thin sheet of tissue that covers all the muscles over the body is responsible for connecting the muscles in the body, and when this is disrupted, it causes pain or strains.
Tight fascia pulls the body and increases pressure on muscles and joints, resulting in pain. And the primary goal of lacrosse ball massage is to loosen your fascia so that the underlying tissue can move freely.
Squats are universal exercises for everyone, and I love doing squats before my warm-up exercise.
A squat is a versatile exercise that targets many muscles in your lower body like for example,” quads, glutes, and hamstring”.
Once you have warmed up with a few reps, you can start lifting weights to increase the intensity of the exercise.
The squat has been the most popular exercise for everyone working out, but there is a lot to see about the posture you are squatting on. A wrong squat stance can result in irregular pains and back pains.
So here are the tips to make sure you are squatting correctly.
Stand with your hip one foot apart and turn your toes forward or little towards outside.
Make your back straight as shown in the video and engage with your core, slowly lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the ground or 90 degrees between the legs.
Pro tip: To know whether your back is straight or not, face your chin a little upwards and try to focus on 2 feet above your height level, which will eventually result in making your back straight.
Exhale and stand back and repeat the process for 3 to 4 reps.
#4 Hill Sprints.
In 2020 most gyms are closed, and one exercise which can give you equivalent results even if you cannot work out at gyms is Hill sprints, linear sprints are common among most of the athletes but you can make hill sprints if you want to do something different.
Here is the secret for running faster and getting more robust with hill sprints. By using short sprinting sessions, you can strengthen your leg, season your muscles, and connecting tissues.
There are many advantages of hills sprints.
As exercises like squats and lunges build strength in your lower legs, Hill sprints do the same with body movements. Your body weight is enough to reap the advantage of hill sprints, so you don’t need any weights and equipment. No doubt running hills require a lot of challenges and mental toughness, but still, many reasons could result in betterment after such workouts.
- Lower risk of injury.
Yes, you heard that right, while we are talking about exercises before warm-up games or practices, running hills can help you achieve that, while you hills sprint there is less distance between your foot and the ground which results in fewer chances of sprains and pains in your body.
- Endurance booster.
Similar to any speed work, hills sprints can help in endurance and improve your conditioning of the body.
#5 Single leg hip extension.
Single leg hip extension helps you build strong glutes and body conditioning, which are essential for lower back support, pelvic alignment, healthy hamstring.
For this exercise, you have to lie on the mat with your knees bent and make sure your feet are flat on the floor.
Lift your one leg while keeping another leg in the same position, by pushing yourself with the other heel, make your hips up and raise your glutes.
You can also take weights if you want to intensify the exercise once you are done without weights. And continue with the training for 8 to 10 sets at a time.
Single leg hip extension helps to avoid cramps and strains in the back while playing and prepares your body for extensive training.
#6 Medicine Ball toss.
The medicine ball toss helps your lower body in strengthening and helps reduce injuries. It trains all necessary triple extensions. Your knees, hips, and ankles will extend to propel you upward, which is essential for many strength and speed-related sports.
This is not just for pros but can be done for anyone even if you are not related to sports, and it pumps your whole body.
The part it hits is Quads, glutes, shoulders, and triceps.
This exercise can be performed anywhere in a room or outdoors, but it is preferred to be done out.
It would be best if you had a wall that can sustain the power of the ball thrown of about 10 to 15 pounds, and should be a flat surface. Hold 10 to 15 pounds of the ball with your both hands, extend your arm towards your waists. Squat down slightly, allowing your trunk to lean forward, then with you at most power explode the ball by extending your knees, hips, and ankles towards the wall, and throw as high as possible.
Make sure the room is open and spacious.
And repeat the same process for 4 to 5 sets.
Benefits of medical ball toss.
There are many advantages of a medical ball toss, but here are few.
- Strengthen buts and thighs
- Strengthen chest and arms
- Cardio strength combo
#7 Resistance Speed Drills.
There are many speed drills that you can follow; we even have a similar blog on speed drills so you can check that out too.
You only need one body resistance band and a friend who can hold it for you.
And start running while your friend would stop you by resisting.
So finally to conclude the whole blog, but these exercises into your daily routine depending on what works on you and which feels good on you, schedule while you are training or before working out and you will avoid those injuries that have stopped you from playing.