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Dynamic Warm-Ups, Young Athletes & Your Workout

Posted Sep 13 2011 8:55am

Hey Hey Hey!

How’s everyone feeling today?? Happy Tuesday :-)

Is it bad that I want to  just eat this stuff up for lunch and dinner:

I made it happen. When I was out of zucchini pasta…I dug the rest out with a spoon and ate it straight. I am not ashamed in the least.

Today I want to talk about something very important. It’s a subject that we all need to pay close attention to but I really want young athletes and parents to check it out also. My fellow Body Rock phanatics (sorry, habit, I can’t spell that with an ‘f ), listen up as well.

My favorite point in my personal training career were the three years I trained young athletes. I did off-ice dryland training for boys and girls ice hockey.

My sister is an amazing hockey player.

She went to National Sports Academy in Lake Placid (think “ Miracle on Ice “) on a scholarship when she was scouted in high school. My family is so into ice hockey. Funny that I married a guy that couldn’t care less about it. Unless the Flyers are in the playoffs. It’s the only sport he becomes a fair weathered fan. He’s lucky my clan loved him before they knew that ;-)

I trained Carly’s old team, The Little Flyers 19 and under and 16 and under girls teams for two summers. I also trained my high schools boys ice hockey JV and Varsity teams for two summers. My third summer I had a smaller group, and we were able to do it indoors with a mix of boys and girls hockey players.

It was amazing because as a trainer I was constantly being challenged to design the best program for their sport. I was also able to work them really hard, which any trainer knows is the best, especially when there’s no/minimal complaining. These kids WANTED to work hard. They were serious about their sport, and their training. It was extremely rewarding.

I focused on periodization training , even though I only worked with most of them for 3 months. (Some hired me throughout the year.) When the season was beginning I gave them a program to follow up for training.

I did a lot of plyometrics (future post coming soon)..

agility training

strength training, core work, and movement training based on their sport.

Most importantly...We always started with a very thorough dynamic warm-up in the beginning and cool down stretch at the end.

Right now there seems to be an epidemic in young athletes with injuries. One of those being growth plate injuries . The growth plate, also known as the epiphyseal plate or physis, is the area of growing tissue near the ends of the long bones in children and adolescents. In a child, a serious injury to a joint is more likely to damage a growth plate than the ligaments that stabilize the joint. Trauma that would cause a sprain in an adult might cause a growth plate fracture in a child.

One third of growth plate injuries occur in competitive young athletes.

**Disclaimer: this post is not meant to diagnose or treat injuries. If you think you may be injured or have muscular imbalances, see a doctor!

One factor to consider when trying to prevent injuries in general, especially growth plate injuries in young athletes is the proper training. One very important component in that is doing a thorough dynamic warm-up :

Dynamic warm-ups may help prevent injury not only in young athletes, but you will spot professional athletes doing these before a game.


Traditionally, a warm-up consists of doing five to 10 minutes of cardio followed by static stretching. This actually is not preparing your body for strength training or any type of sport! Research shows that there is no benefit to doing static stretches before sports performance or any physical activity. In fact, static stretching before activity can actually CAUSE injury!


What is a Dynamic Warm-Up: “Dynamic” means to “involve motion” so a dynamic warm-up is a warm up that is active, involving movement. You should never do static stretches before your workout. Think of you muscles as a rubber band. If a rubber band is cold and you stretch it, what happens? It will break. You can’t stretch cold muscles. However, it’s good to be lose when you are about to involve yourself in intense exercise. The solution? A warm-up that involves active stretching

For my friends out there that love to workout…you don’t need to be an athlete for these to be important. You will often find me kicking my butt with butt kickers right before a workout (always do butt kickers towards the end of the warm up ):

Body Rockers! Runners! Fitness Enthusiasts! You should never just jump into a workouts.

Zuzanna warms up, most likely with dynamic stretches before her HIIT workouts. So should you!

The Goals of a Dynamic Warm-Up

  • Prepares the body for the demands of the workout
  • Increase core body temperature
  • Increase heart rate to get the blood pumping through the body and warm up the muscles.
  • Open up your joints, especially those within the hips, spine, feet and ankles.
  • Actively stretch your muscles to prepare them for what you’ll be asking them for during the run.
  • Reinforce great posture.
There are a few dynamic warm-up samples online. Youtube has some nice dynamic warm up  videosI like this PDF , I wrote about 5 I often use . I will have to put together a separate post to elaborate more on the actual exercises. For now use the links I provided in this post

What do you do to prepare your body for physical activity?

Do you perform a dynamic warm-up before you exercise??


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