Game-Day 12: The Perfect Pre-Game Warm-Up

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Does your pre-game warm-up improve your on-field performance and range of motion? Is your warm-up exciting your central nervous system and getting your body primed for your game? If your warm-up doesn’t do any of the following you’re not alone. Many high school, college, and professional players have a hard time performing a proper pre-game warm-up. As a solution to this problem, I  created a COMPLETE Pre-Game Warm-up called Game Day 12 with the help of Colorado Rockies Catcher, Tom Murphy and Former Minnesota Twins Outfielder, Jason Kanzler.

This pre-game warm-up will:

  • Increase Core Temperature
  • Improve Range of Motion
  • Excite the Central Nervous System
  • Allow you to get into better positions
  • Reduce potential for injury
  • Improve ability of the muscles to contract
  • Improve strength and power potential
  • Improve work capacity

Game Day 12 is EXTREMELY effective and should take no longer than 10-15 minutes to complete. This warm-up also requires no special equipment, so it can be performed virtually anywhere.

Full Game Day 12 Warm-up:

  1. Jumping Jacks  x 50 reps
  2. Skipping w/Arm Circles x 40 yards or more
  3. Side Shuffles Arm Swings x 40 yards or more
  4. Roll-Over to V-Situp x 12 reps
  5. Yoga Push-Up x 12 reps
  6. Prone Y,T,W Isometric Holds 10-15 sec hold each letter
  7. Hip Thrust w/Overhead Reach x 6 reps each side
  8. Bouncing Inchworm to Plank x 5 reps w/3 sec core contraction
  9. Off-Set Lunge with Hip Lift and T-Spine Extension x 5 each leg
  10. High Pogo Hops x 10
  11. Power Skips 2 sets x 3 jumps each leg
  12. Build-Up Push-Up Sprint Starts x 5 yards (walk back), 10 yards (walk back), 15 (walk back) yards, 20 yards (walk back), 30 yards (walk back)

WATCH Colorado Rockies Catcher, Tom Murphy perform this pre-game warm-up: 

I have provided an explanation of each exercise, and the purpose each play in getting your body ready to dominate on the field! As an added note, exercise order is CRUCIAL to this warm-up’s success. This is important as we want to transition from general movements to more specific movements as we move along in the warm-up.

1, 2, 3  Jumping Jacks, Skipping with Arm Circles, Side Shuffles with Arm Swings

The warm-up starts with three general exercises to elevate your core temperate, promote blood flow, and elevate your heart rate. These three exercises should be done for no specific time or reps. I added a general guideline above. However, If you haven’t cracked a sweat, or if your heart rate isn’t elevated, don’t move to exercise number 4.

4. Rollover to V-Situp

The rollover to V-Situp is a good exercise to progress from the previous three, as it’s more dynamic. In this exercise we’re getting a dynamic stretch of the low back, glutes, hamstrings, and groin all in one movement.

5. Yoga Push-Ups

This exercise drives good scapular upward rotation, which is lost in many pitchers and position players over the course of the season. As an added note, If you have a hard time doing push-ups, shorten the range of motion and don’t go down all the way.

6. Prone Y,T,W Isometric Holds

Before you throw it’s extremely important to warm-up your shoulders and activate your upper back throughly. This is one of my favorite exercises to do so.

7. Hip Thrust w/Overhead Reach

With this exercise the goal is to activate your glutes by performing a glute bridge and improve thoracic spine (upper back) mobility with the reach portion of the exercise.

8. Bouncing Inchworm to Plank 

Another important aspect in this warm-up is the activation of your core. With the bouncing inchworm to plank we’re getting a dynamic stretch of our hamstrings, ankles, and calves. We then finish this exercise with a plank (hands out in front) to activate our core.

9. Off-Set Lunge with Hip Lift and Thoracic Spine Extension 

In this flowing movement Tom is lunging out to the side, and driving his knee out to get a good groin stretch. From that position he shoots his hip up to get a good stretch in his hamstring. He then comes back down and performs an overhead reach where he’s following his hand the entire time. By adding a reach to this exercise we are mobilizing the thoracic spine (upper back) and getting a good pec stretch as well.

10, 11 High Pogo Hops, and Power Skips

Towards the end of the warm-up, as we get closer to the game, we need to excite our central nervous system. These are two plyometric movements that we progress to in the pregame warm-up to charge up our central nervous system to get our body fired up and ready to go for the game.

12. Build-Up Push-Up Sprint Starts

Incorporating sprints at the end of the warm-up is important, as we want to rehearse a movement (sprinting) which is common throughout the course of your game. I chose a push-up sprint start to conclude this warm-up with the purpose of reinforcing good acceleration technique.

Do this Full Body Warm-Up before all your games and you can thank me later!

-Alex

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