Don't really know what to do in your warm ups?
We’ve all been there. You run out onto the pitch, court, changing rooms of the gym or even our own front door with all of the intention to set ourselves up for the training session ahead but you don’t know what we should be doing. Or even still, you know you should do “something” but because you don’t know what to do, you skip the warm up altogether.
Well, here’s some good news! Constructing an effective warm up tailored to you, your athletes or your team could not be simpler. With the correct advice and a few subject areas to ponder over, creating functional warm ups are right at your fingertips.
Keep reading and we'll walk you through some ideas and the reasons why you should firstly, be conducting a warm up and secondly, why they should be functional. Ready? Let's dive in.
Why Functional Warm-up?
Why should you be conducting functional or positional specific warm ups rather than sticking to the dated static warm ups.
In every team sport there are various positions whereby everyone has something different to work on. In every individual sport, everyone has something different to work on. Therefore why don’t you start implementing these ‘areas to work on’ in the warm ups? As a coach or athlete, follow the RAMP method:
In the Raise period, spend no more than 5mins on this where you would incorporate low intensity drills e.g. passing drills in a small marked area for team sports. For individual sports, here you would conduct some low intensity running mechanics e.g. dead leg runs over some agility ladders.
Activate & Mobilise
In the Activate & Mobilise period, spend no more than 5mins here conducting sport-specific activation and mobilisation drills replicating movements that you are either about to put your body through or these are the ‘areas to work on’. These can be movements such as glute band walks, spiderman’s, superman’s, and thoracic & lumbar spine mobilisation exercises.
For the Potentiate period, see this as the ‘Performance’ period. Here you want to be focusing on areas of the game or sport where you need to work on. Spend 10mins here. As a coach, be mindful of the competency of your athletes. If you feel they are more competent at one drill than the other, focus more time on the drill they are less competent at. For example, as a Rugby Coach you would want your back three conducting some change of direction drills and perhaps some high - ball kick returns. If you feel that their competency for the change of direction drills are better than their kick returns they should spend more time on this. Therefore the focus of yours and their efforts (on these two drills – as the example) replicate a 20:80 ratio.
What is Kaizen?
Last, but certainly not least, try introducing the Kaizen culture into your warm ups. By doing so all athletes will have a mental stimulus before every warm up as they will remember the phrase which will then lead them to remember, and focus 100% of their efforts on their positional specific (functional) warm ups.
Kaizen is the Japanese word for “continual improvement”. The culture is based around the long-term approach to work that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality.
Now you’re ready to start planning your NEW sports specific, positional specific, functional warm ups that you will look forward to. As a coach or athlete be mindful of the fact that if you are conducting a total time of 20mins per warm up (5mins Raise, 5mins Activate & Mobilise and 10mins for the Potentiate phase) and you warm up 4 times per week. Over a 12-week training cycle, you or your Athletes will be utilising an additional 16hours of high quality training time. This further demonstrates the importance and potential of a strategic and effective warm up.
You're probably already going through some ideas in your head, right? Tell me how you plan to create your own workout in the comments. I'd love to help out!