WPH Press, 9/16/20
We all know the feeling – you’re down 0-6 before you’ve served 45 seconds into the match. Maybe you call a timeout. That won’t help. Unless you are completely overmatched, the problem is that you are likely not properly physically or mentally warmed up.
We all want to start fast in our matches. How can we start the match with the same intensity and concentration we have midway through the first game? Stretching? NO! Stretching has been shown to have no benefits and to exhaust your muscles and make you more susceptible to injury. There is no science behind stretching before or after a match or at any time. If you want to see someone who is always injured, find the player who stretches the most.
What you need is a dynamic warm up routine that consists of movements that simulate your movements on the court. The Natural Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) define the dynamic warm up as “sport-specific movements that maximize active ranges of motion at different movement specific speeds while preparing the body for the demands of sport training and competition.” More from the NSCA HERE
These dynamic movements include quick bursts forward, backpedaling, moving side to side, bending, twisting, swinging, squatting, jumping and loading your legs. You cannot expect to sit at a desk all day, hit the ball a few times and successfully start a match.
Plan to arrive at the courts a minimum of 20 minutes before your match. This will give you time to mentally and physically prepare for your match without feeling rushed. A rushed player is a bad player. Once you’ve organized your water, gloves, towel and extra shirts, plan for a 4-5 minute dynamic warm up routine before you start hitting the ball. This dynamic warm up routine should start at an intensity close to 50% and reach 70% by the conclusion. You should have a sweat going before the match starts.
Examples of Dynamic Warm Up Movements:
- Sprint to the front wall from the back wall and backpedal back
- Jumping jacks
- Jump rope
- Butt kickers
- X & Y Drills: Start in the middle of the court on the dotted line – move at 45 degrees to your left to the front foot fault line, swing with your left, backpedal back at 45 degrees to the middle of the court at the dotted line, do the same movement to the right, add the same movements to the back corners to both sides
- High knees
- Frog jumps
- Cross over steps
- Agility Ladder
- Agility Cones
- Banded side steps
- Alternating Leg Kicks
- Mountain Climbers
- Dynamic lunges
Dynamic Warm Up Videos
Baylor College of Medicine Dynamic Warm Up HERE
TabataMania 30/10 Interval Warm Up HERE
Start faster and dominate from the opening bell by employing a dynamic warm up routine!
WPH Fitness Director