Lacrosse Dynamic Warm Up
In an earlier era of exercise science, the process of stretching and the process of warming up were considered two different activities with two different goals and stages of execution. But recent research suggests that the best warm-up activities and the most effective stretches can be combined into a new approach to pre-workout preparation, an approach called “dynamic stretching.”
The idea behind the dynamic stretch is deceptively simple. While a stretching and gentle pulling motion straightens and aligns the muscle fibers and extends the ligaments, active motion simultaneously increases circulation. Elevated circulation improves oxygen and nutrient flow to the muscles, and during a dynamic stretch, athletes open circulation and improve flexibility at the same time.
In this video, Trevor Theismann of Kbands Training takes athletes through a series of eight excellent examples of dynamic stretches. These moves require only a few minutes each and can be incorporated into the beginning of any athletic training program. After moving through this entire series, athletes will feel energized, flexible, and ready to bring their best performance to the rest of the workout session.
Dynamic Stretch: Toy Soldier
The first dynamic stretch is this series will target the hamstrings. Athletes will execute this move by walking forward using an exaggerated, high, straight-leg kick. At each step, the first foot will plant on the ground and the back foot will rise into the air, forming a 90 degree angle with the athlete’s body line. The arms will be held straight forward, and the kicking foot should rise to meet the extended hands. During this move, athletes should focus on maintaining a straight leg and not buckling at the waist.
Dynamic Stretch 1: Toy Solider and RDL Combo
This next move in the dynamic stretch series involves a combination of the toy soldier and the RDL. After the athlete plants the left foot and kicks the right foot out in front of the body, the foot does not return to the floor. Instead, the right leg swings behind the body and the athlete leans forward and briefly supports his weight by touching the floor with both hands. Then the move is repeated with the left leg, and so on. Body alignment and balance will both be crucial to the success of this move, so players should concentrate on maintaining a straight back and not touching the foot to the floor as it swings from front to back.
Dynamic Stretch 2: The Slide
The slide is a move that targets the groin muscle. As with the other stretches in the series, players will stay in motion and move down the court as they complete this move. At each step, the feet will be widely spaced and body will sink low and shift from left to right before players stand up and take the next step. To complete this move, athletes should move down the line and back facing in the same direction, so they can stretch both sides of the body equally.
Dynamic Stretch 3: Reverse Lunge and Twist
During the reverse lunge and twist, players will move backwards down the court. First the right foot and then the left will be extended behind the body in a lunge position, and as the athlete drops his body down into the lunge, he will twist at the torso and reach back to touch the back foot with the opposite hand. Athletes can watch the video to note how the player keeps his back and torso perpendicular to the floor as he completes the twist.
Dynamic Stretch 4: Quad Stretch
During the dynamic quad stretch, players will once again walk forward down the court as they complete the move. At each step, the athlete will plant his weight on one foot and bend the opposite knee, bringing the raised foot up behind his body. He’ll then reach behind himself and hold that foot stable with the opposite hand. While holding the foot, he’ll raise his free hand into the air and rise up onto the toe of the planted foot. After completing the motion and feeling the tension in the quad, the athlete will drop the foot, move forward, and repeat the move on the other side.
Dynamic Stretch 5: Glute Walk
The next two moves in the series will involve the use of the Kbands, which should be strapped in place around the upper legs. Once the bands are in place, players can take on the challenging glute walk, which involves a lateral step down the court and back. At each step, the player should widen his feet and work his upper legs against the pressure of the bands. His knees should stay bent and his body angle should stay in squat position, with the chest tall and the knees in line with the toes.
Dynamic Stretch 6: Toy Soldier RDL combo with Bands
The next resisted stretch will simply be a repeat of the toy soldier-RDL combo moves described above. But the added resistance of the Kbands will make this move a little more challenging and will place extra pressure on the quads, glutes and hip flexors. More pressure will increase the circulation to these muscle groups and elevate the combined benefits of the warm-up and stretch.
Dynamic Stretch 7: High Knee Run
The final move in the dynamic stretch series involves two resisted reps, or two trips down the court and back with the Kbands in place. These reps should be completed at a dynamic, but slow moving high-knee run. The knees should rise and fall rapidly, and the arms should stay engaged, but the body should move very slowly from one of the run to the other. Slower forward motion and faster dynamic energy invested in each step will mean increased circulation in the hip flexors, quads, and core.
At this point in the series, players should feel warmed up, limber, stretched, and ready to move forward with a set of targeted, sport-specific drills. Plenty of these drills can be found in the basketball (or football, baseball, track, etc) training section of the Kbands.com website. In the meantime, the site can also offer more detail, including purchasing information, for Kbands resistance and suspension training equipment.
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