Most softball warm-up’s I’ve seen include putting on one’s cleats, running out onto the field, and playing catch.
While there is nothing wrong with that process when kids are younger, over time we need to consider the longevity of the athlete in the sport and begin forming good habits, good body movements, and better mobility/stability in joints–WHICH is best done through a warm-up. There are so many arguments discussing whether stretching is good or not? Whether dynamic movement is better, etc. And I’m here to say I like a combination of them all. Review of the research concludes that when stretches are done after a cardio warm-up and before high intensity exercise, and if most stretches are not held longer than 10-15 seconds–there is no loss in performance (Behm, Blazevich, McHugh)
I recently put together a warm-up routine for the Kansas Renegades to do before their winter workout’s and I’m going to share a few of the ideas with you all, here.
1) Soft Tissue Smash–
Spend 1-2 Min on each location. If you don’t have a foam roller a softball works well.
2) Dynamic Stretching x 10 each of:
Hip flexors, Groin, Thread the Needle, Chest Openers, Shoulder Capsule, Wrist Rocking
3) Good vs. Bad Pelvic Tilts
Help athlete find and feel what a good pelvis vs. bad pelvis position is. (always lots of giggles here)
4) Scap Push/Pull Ups
Maintaining scap movement through upper back.
5) Pelvic Twists/Torso Twists
Learning how to find and feel separation of hips and shoulders, and accessing oblique sling stretch.
6) Dynamic Movements/Body Awareness (:30 seconds on/:10 seconds rest)
Quad Pulls, Straight Leg Kicks, Pogo Ankle Hops, Alternating Side Lunges, Bear Transitions
From this point we would move into some running drills/skills, throwing/hitting skills and drills–depending what the focus of practice is after this–or what falls next in the pre-game routine. These follow-up drills should be explosive, powerful, and high intensity.
Anna provides programming for team’s, individuals, and coaches through hands-on training at her 2 gym locations in Kansas or through her sheSTRENGTH App which can be found in any app store. To learn more, click the tabs at the top of the page to inquire about her services.
David G. Behm, Anthony J. Blazevich, Anthony D. Kay, and Malachy McHugh. Acute effects of muscle stretching on physical performance, range of motion, and injury incidence in healthy active individuals: a systematic review. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 41(1): 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2015-0235