Time for training is sometimes hard to come by, so you always want to maximize every second in the weight room. Time pressure causes many athletes to overlook the warm-up. This may be the biggest mistake you can make with your training. (Watch Adrian Gonzalez's Dynamic Warm-Up.)
A dynamic warm-up prepares your body for a training session or game. The exercises simulate more intense athletic movements to gradually warm your muscles, increase range of motion and blood flow, and activate your central nervous system. You will be able to perform at your max at the start of activity without the risk of injury from overexerting cold muscles. (See 5 Ways Athletes Screw Up Their Warm-Up.)
If you don't have a pre-workout routine, I recommend this 10-minute dynamic warm-up, which will prepare your entire body for intense exercise. It's easy to learn, requires no equipment and can be performed in a small space.
- Jogging—2-3 minutes. Increases blood flow, elevates your heart rate and activates your muscles.
- Jumping Jacks—x 10-15. Further increases your heart rate with a higher intensity exercise more similar to how you use your body during a workout or game.
- Horizontal and Forward Leg Swing—x 10-15 each leg. Loosens the hips so you can apply full power when running and jumping. Helps you open up your hips to change directions easily.
- Squat Toe touches—x 10-15. This complete lower-body movement further opens up your hips and stretches the back of your legs.
- Supine Hip Bridges—x 10-15. Activates your glutes so you can apply max strength and power at the start of a workout or game.
- Fire Hydrants—x 10-15 each side. Engages your hip abductors, which helps prevent knee injuries.
- Iron Cross—x 10-15 each side. Stretches your low back, core rotators and hamstrings.
- Lunges With Twist—x 10-15 each leg. Stretches your hip flexors, quads and core rotators.
- Push-Ups—x 10-15. Engages your chest and shoulder muscles.
- Sit-Ups—x 10-15. Engages your abs.
- Supermans—x 10-15. Engages your lower-back muscles.
- Ballistic Movements—x 3-5. Prepares your body for the ballistic nature of a training session or game.
Co-authored by Keith Scruggs
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock