Playing to Warm-Up VS. Warming-Up to Play

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It still amazes me how many athletes start throwing, hitting, or training without doing any sort of movement prep beforehand. This is better known as playing or training to warm-up. In my opinion, this WILL lead to very poor performance and potential injury.

A GOOD warm-up prior to your workouts and games/practices should do all of the following:

  • Increase core temperature
  • Improve range of motion
  • Prime your central nervous system
  • Allow you to get into better positions
  • Reduce the potential for injury
  • Improve the ability of your muscles to contract
  • Improve strength and power potential
  • Improve work capacity

Six Phase Warm-Up

When I design warm-ups for my athletes prior to training or competition they need to be done in proper order. Specific exercises in the athletes warm-up will depend on a lot of things (game, practice, what type of workout they’re doing, etc.) however, the order in which each exercise is performed does not change.

Here’s how I like to design warm-ups for my athletes. You can use this template to design your own pre-game/pre-training warm-up! If there’s any exercise listed below that you don’t recognize just click the exercise to see the movement being performed by myself or one of my athletes.

Phase 1: Increase Core Temperature/Promote Full Body Blood Flow

Exercises – Pick 2 Exercises: Side-Shuffle x 30 yards/side, Open/Closed Gate Skip x 30 yards each, Backpedal x 60 total yards, Forward/Backward Skip x 30 yards each, Jump Rope x 1 minute, Jumping Jacks x 1 minute, Seal Jacks x 1 minute, Skips with Arm Circles Forward and Backward x 60 total yards, Frankenstein Kick x 20 yards, Side-Shuffle with Arm Swing x 30 yards/side, Lateral Skip x 30 yards/side

Phase 2: Activate the Core

Exercises – Pick 1 Exercise: Walking Inchworm x 10 reps, Bear Crawl x 20 yards, Lateral Bear Crawl x 20 yards, Alternating Bent-Knee Deadbug x 10 reps/side, Caterpillar Walk x 10 reps, Lateral Hand Walk x 15 yards/side, RKC Plank x 30 seconds

Phase 3: Activate the Glutes

Exercises – Pick 1 Exercises: Quadruped Fire Hydrant x 20 reps/side, Side-Lying Banded Clamshell x 10 reps/side, Quadruped Hip Circles (Forward and Backward) x 10 reps forward and backward/side, Supine Single-Leg Glute Bridge x 10 reps/side, Lateral Band Walk x 10 yards/side, Quadruped Bent-Knee Leg Raise x 20 reps/side

Phase 4: Mobilize the Upper and Lower Body

Exercises – Pick 2 Upper Body Exercises & 2 Lower Body Exercises:

Upper Body Exercises: Scapular Push-Up x 12 reps, Quadruped Cat Camel x 12 reps, Down Dog x 15 reps, Down Dog to Alternating Toe Tap x 10 reps/side, Prone Scorpion x 8 reps/side, Bent-Knee Iron Cross x 8 reps/side

Lower Body Exercises: Walking Lunge to Rotation  x 20 yards, Walking Lunge to Overhead Reach x 20 yards, Reverse Lunge to Overhead Reach, Walking Lunge to High Knee Drive x 20 yards, Walking Lunge Elbow Instep x 20 yards, Hurdle Over-Over Under-Under’s x 5 reps/side, Spider-Man Lunge with Hip Lift and Reach x 5 reps/side, Squat to Stand with Diagonal Reach x 5 reps, Quad-Pull to Lateral Lunge with Overhead Reach x 5 reps/side, Greatest Stretch on Earth x 5 reps/side, Prisoner Squat x 10 reps, Prisoner Ghost Side Hurdle x 10 reps/side

Phase 5: Dynamically Mobilize the Upper and Lower Body

Exercises – Pick 1 Upper Body Exercise & 1 Lower Body Exercise:

Upper Body Exercises: Prone Blackburns x 12 reps, Prone Y-Handcuff x 12 reps, Prone Overhead Reach x 20 reps, Prone Y, T, W Switch x 60-90 seconds, Prone Band Over-Back x 12 reps, Band Pull Aparts x 20 reps

Lower Body Exercises: Rollover into Dynamic Hamstring Stretch x 10 reps, Rollover into Dynamic Piriformis Stretch x 10 reps, Alternating Mountain Climber x 6 reps/side, Groiner x 10 reps, 90/90 Hip Switch x 5 reps/side, Quadruped Rocking Frog x 10 reps, Alternating Cossack Squat x 6 reps/side

Phase 6: Prime the Central Nervous System

Upper and Lower Body Workouts Only

Before a Upper Body Workout – Pick 1: Medicine Ball Overhead Stomps 2 sets x 6 reps, Medicine Ball Bent-Over Chest-Pass into Floor 2 sets x 6 reps, Tall-Kneeling Medicine Ball Forward Chest Pass 2 sets x 5 reps

Before a Lower Body Workout – Pick 1: Squat Jumps 2 sets x 5 reps, Alternating Split-Squat Jumps 2 sets x 4 reps/side, High Pogo Hops 2 sets x 10 jumps

Games, Practices or Field Work Only

Before a Game or Practice – Pick 1 Combo:

CNS Primer Combo #1: Power Skip for Distance x 3/sideHigh Pogo Hops x 10 jumps

CNS Primer Combo #2: Power Skip for Height x 3/sideForward Pogo Hop x 10 yards

Before a Game or Practice – Pick 1 Sprint Variation: Do this only prior to games and practices. Do NOT perform a sprint variation prior to lifting. Rest 60 seconds after each sprint. Push-Up Sprint Start 2 sprints x 10 yards, Lateral Push-Up Sprint Start 2 sprints x 10 yards (1/side), Half-Kneeling Sprint 2 sprints x 10 yards (1/side), Half-Kneeling Lateral Sprint 2 sprints x 10 yards (1/side), Mountain Climber Sprint Start 2 sprints x 10 yards, Lateral Mountain Climber Sprint Start 2 sprints x 10 yards (1/side), Seated Sprint Start 2 sprints x 10 yards

I hope this article was helpful! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to send me an email – Simonesbaseballtraining@gmail.com

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