Dynamic Warm-up For Sports Specific Training

You’re about to discover a simple dynamic flexibility warm-up – or as I like to call it, athletic movement training – that will help you run faster, jump higher, and dramatically increase your power. Specifically, I am going to teach you how to warm up prior to bodyweight training, sport’s practice, or even an important game.

Below I will outline drills that will allow you to increase mobility in your hips, increase the flexibility and range of motion of your hamstrings, lower body and upper body.

To start out, we will focus on what I call, a movement circuit. So, begin with a light jog forward for 20 yards and then pedal backwards. Next, do a sideways jog to get the groins warmed up. Start by taking small steps the first time through and then increasing the length of step the second time through.

To continue with the movement circuit do high knees. For proper form, be sure to match the opposite arm with the opposite leg. The goal here is to get in as many steps within the distance set out. You can walk back from there.

Follow the high knees with a round of butt-kicks. For this movement you will bring your heels up to your butt. Again, the goal here is to get as many butt-kicks as you can within the distance set out. Walk back.

The next drill is similar to the high knees, but when you bring your knee up, this time you will also try to point your toes upward. Walk back.

After completing that drill, you will now do crossovers or karaoke’s to increase the range of motion and mobility. Make sure to always stay on the balls of your feet. The next time through go a little bit faster, while also taking larger steps. After the first two rounds, if you want to challenge the athlete, then you can have them do really fast small crossover steps.

Another good exercise to get warmed-up with is the hip twists in-place. So, keeping your upper body facing forward, turn your hips back and forth while jumping in the air.

For all of these drills outlined, you will want to go through the circuit 2 or 3 times, depending on the amount of time you have, how warmed up the individual is already, and what type of activity you are going to do after.

For example, you will complete each drill one after another, take a break, and then go through the circuit again, each time going a little bit faster and harder.

Once you have finished the movement circuit, then I like to follow that up with a range of motion circuit. Start with a walking forward lunge. Walk back. Then do a step-out. Be sure to keep your chest out and hips low for this exercise.

Next, you will do the Frankenstein walk. Place your arms out in front of you and bring your toes up to your hands, while walking straight ahead. Walk back.

If you find that your hamstrings are tight, then you can lean against a wall or railing and do some dynamic leg swings, trying to get a bit more range of motion with each repetition. Afterward, you can do walking diagonal lunges. Walk back.

Another good exercise for the groin are squat jumps. To do this exercise correctly, when you come down, spread your legs out and squat down, then jump back up and repeat.

You can follow the squat jumps with jumping jacks or seal jumps, where you criss-cross your arms and legs.

Now, with younger athletes these drills are going to act as strength training session. So, it is a good idea to just go through the circuits once with younger athletes. However, with more mature athletes this will be a good warm-up.

So those are a wide array of exercises that you can do for dynamic flexibility or athletic movement training to prepare yourself for all sorts of activities.

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Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Health and Oxygen magazines and will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment.