“The warm-up may be one of the greatest performance enhancers or detriments to an athlete’s performance” –Unknown
What is a dynamic warm-up?
A series of exercises geared towards getting the body moving in ways comparable with the demands of a specific sport. Body temperature rises as heart rate is increased allowing and the major muscle groups to feel more “loose”, functional, and ready for an intense workout.
Primary Goals behind Performing a Proper Dynamic Warm-up:
• Improve performance
• Reduce risk of injury
• Increase core temperature and joint range of motion
• Activate stabilizers, proprioceptors, and the central nervous system
• Increase mental awareness and focus
• Improve or practice hockey related movement skills
One common mistake I see in hockey (and most sports) is athletes performing a warm-up consisting of a short skate around the rink and then sitting down or standing still to perform a series of static stretches. Static stretching involves minimal movement and does not properly prepare the body to perform at peak potential in a hockey game; however, an effective dynamic warm-up will prepare the body by improving coordination, balance, stability, stamina, movement efficiency , dynamic flexibility, and focus.
Example of a few dynamic warm-up exercises specific to hockey:
(Perform prior to getting on the ice after performing 5-10 minutes of light aerobic activity)
1. Standing arm circles: 10 circles each direction
Swing straight arms in circles through full shoulder range of motion beginning with forwards then switching to swing them backwards.
2. Hip swings on wall: 10 swings per leg/direction
Stand facing a wall and swing straight leg side to side feeling a stretch through the hips, then stand perpendicular to the wall and swing straight leg forwards and backwards.
3. Single leg walking airplane (dead lift): 10-15 per leg
Keep standing leg straight and arms straight out to the sides, lean forward from the waist sending opposite leg back until a stretch is felt in the back of the standing leg. Return to an upright position and then take a step forward and perform same movement with opposite leg.
4. Walking high knee pull: 10-15 per leg
Keep standing leg straight and pull opposite knee up towards your chest and then place back on the ground, take a step forward, and repeat with opposite leg.
5. Walking lunge with trunk rotation: 10-15 per leg
Take a large step forward into a lunge until a stretch is felt in the front of the hips then perform a trunk rotation over the front leg. Step back up and take another step forward with the opposing leg and rotate trunk to opposite side.
These are just a few examples of hockey specific dynamic warm-up exercises that can be performed. Email Michelle@CORE-Condition.com for more exercises or to formulate a routine specific your sport.
Michelle Roots BA Kin, CSCS, PES