6 Warm-Up Exercises for High School Basketball Players
You work hard to excel at your chosen sport, and nothing is more frustrating than when you feel your performance tapering. As athletes develop in skill, strength, and metabolic endurance, it’s important to continually evaluate routines to ensure they’re working efficiently and promoting safety. A warm-up routine that’s not thorough or dynamic is a fast track to a wide variety of common sports injuries and can hinder progress towards your goals.
In full, your warm-up routine should be around 15-20 minutes and provide exercises that engage the entire body. When you want to change up your routine, here are warm-up exercises to consider to ensure you’re receiving ample preparation for a basketball game or practice:
1. Jogging And Cardio
It’s important to start with a cardio exercise like jogging, to promote blood flow and oxygen to muscles. It’s also key to not exhaust yourself before the full practice or game. Find balance with a few, light paced laps or lengths of the court to start your routine. At Activ8 we start every warm up with jogging a couple laps down and back on our turf.
2. Movement In All Directions
Don’t focus on forward motion alone. Nearly every sport, including basketball, requires movement forwards, backward, and laterally. Activities like lunges, sidestepping, shuffling and skipping are great examples of engaging your body in moving in all directions. Ensure you’re keeping all joints aligned properly to avoid injury while executing these warm-up exercises.
3. Full Body Focus
Arms, legs, and abs play a key role in your shooting accuracy and endurance. When you design your workout routine, ensure you’re attending to each muscle group. For example, leg warm-ups should have activities to target quads, calves, hip flexors, groin, and the hamstrings in dynamic, active motion. Leaving off warm-up activities can result in tightness, inflexibility, injury, and decrease in performance.
Strengthening exercises like pushups, situps, planks, squats, and lunges promote blood flow and stability in your muscles. As with every warm-up activity, these must be done with proper form to be effective and prevent injury. Add a combination of strengthening exercises for each muscle group. Bodyweight is plenty of resistance to get a great warm-up, so there’s no need to think about adding weights or resistance.
While static stretching has been an integral part of the warm-up process for many years, many fitness professionals are placing a higher emphasis on the balance between static stretching and dynamic activities that promote flexibility. While you’re targeting each of these muscle groups, ensure you’re working in a comfortable range for your body and adding movement to the stretching process.
For example, add both walking hamstring stretching (Frankenstein walks) and static hamstring activities, like touching toes to a routine.
It’s important to also ensure your body and mind are balanced before a game or practice. For physical balance, try standing on one leg at a time with closed eyes and holding strength in core muscles. You can also try agility drills, like using an agility ladder (http://www.sklz.com/surf-cup-sports/quick-ladder/SAQ-SL01-02.html), that promote both speed and balance.
Warm-up exercises that promote hand-eye coordination, like passing drills, are a great way to feel balanced and centered. Grounding your mind through visualization can also refresh muscle memory and calm nerves.
Professional Performance Training
When you’re designing a warm-up routine for your body and goals, athlete training facilities are a great resource for individualized coaching. Activ8 is an elite performance center with customized curriculums and sports medicine for a wide variety of ability levels. Learn more about our athlete’s training center, that works to make professional athlete training accessible to all ages.