3 Massive Benefits of Warm-Ups

Warm-Ups, why bother? Great question! In this blog I share 3 Massive Benefits of warm-ups.

In my last blog, Effective Sports Practices: Pre-Practice Steps for Every Coach I spoke about the importance of YOU preparing for practice. Consider this your ‘warm up’.

Now, let’s talk about the athletes and how we can help make their practice more effective, starting with the warm-up!

I have been told many times that “warm ups are boring and monotonous” or “I don’t have time for that”.

Well, to be fair- that may be true. But then I’d say, it’s also boring sitting on the bench because of an injury, pulled muscle or lack of ability to perform.

So, if you or your athletes want to stay in the game and even play at a higher level, read on.

3 Massive Benefits of Warm-Ups

Massive Benefit #1: The Transition

Warm ups can serve as a Mental Transition

Simply put, the warm-up is a mental transition from “day-to-day” to “it’s time to play”.

A transition, is a change from one thing to the next, either in action or state of being. It’s important to understand that this is a skill that can be developed.

Have you ever had that athlete or team that seems to have a hard time paying attention at the start of practice/performance?

You aren’t alone. Transition times can generally take between 5-15 minutes depending on the task at hand and the age of the athlete. Knowing this, providing athletes with a good 15 minute warm up can work wonders on helping them transition from ‘their world’ into ‘our world’.

Warm ups can serve as a Physical Transition

Let’s talk about the more obvious, physical transition.

A well designed warm-up, should leave every muscle…well, WARMED UP!

This may seem obvious, but I still see the old school ‘sit and reach’ stretching happening. Do you?

If you answered YES, then there is a huge opportunity for us to become a bigger part of the solution. If you are performing these ‘static stretches’, no worries- we’ve got you.

One of my favorite mantras for proper warm-ups I heard 15+ years ago at a Live IYCA Certification: “We prepare to move, by moving to prepare”

Massive Benefit #2: Reducing Injury Risk

There is a quite a bit of research out there that reports data on the effects of warming-up and reducing injury risk.  I’d encourage you to do your own research if you want to delve deeper into the concept of Dynamic Stretching reducing Injury Risk.

Many injuries are out of our control and it’s accepted as ‘part of the game’. Warming up before physical activity increases muscle elasticity, improves blood flow and lubricates/loosens joints. But like anything else, too much stretching can lead to injury.

It’s up to you as the professional to monitor and provide proper warm-ups no matter what age you coach.

If you’d like some examples, please comment below what sport you coach and what ages!

Massive Benefit #3: Develops Athleticism

This benefit goes nicely with benefit #2, but I thought it deserved it’s own ‘shout out’.

I spent the morning training a high school football team, and in my days of working with 1000’s of athletes, I’ve always found it fascinating how their movement quality in their warm-up period is a leading indicator to their quality of performance over time.

As a former collegiate athlete, I now wished I took Dynamic Warm Ups more seriously!

Depending on the ages you coach, you may watch Athleticism develop right before your eyes in a very short period of time. Although warm-ups like High Knee Walks, Toe-Touch Walks, Butt Kicks, etc, may seem awkward at first, the body almost always ‘figures it out’ with minimal cueing, over time.

Give it time, and trust the process!

As I write, I’m reminded how incredibly important it is to incorporate warm-ups at all ages.

I hope this helps you re-affirm what you are already doing, or perhaps enlighten you to an opportunity that can amplify your athletes.

Julie Hatfield-Still

Julie Hatfield-Still

Julie Hatfield-Still

Brand Executive for the IYCA.

Julie is an Entrepreneur, CEO, Coach and Author.

She is founder of the Impact More Method for entrepreneurs and the Inner Game Framework for Athletes.


If you are a new coach or parent who wants more ideas about ways to play to develop athletic ability! Check our these 4 free games for performance from IYCA CEO Jim Kielbaso!


2 Responses

  1. Mike Knorowski says:

    I am not a coach, but I play volleyball at a very high level. I am 58 years old and play in Senior Games, Senior Nationals and USAV Nationals. I’ve never been coached before, learned on my own, so I don’t have any idea of what a good warmup would be? I have tried to research on my own and have found that my old static stretching is out dated! Can you help me? Would you be able to give me a warmup and a post workout routine? I have also heard that it is good to stretch/cool down after playing, but not sure what to do?? Thanks so much!!

  2. The IYCA says:

    Mike, thank you for your comment and question. Congrats on your success as well. We’d be happy to develop some free content around this. Currently we talk about this in all of our Certifications but this is so important that we would want you to have this regardless on if you can invest in a Certification. Much of what we apply to our athletes can also be applied to us as adults. From Active Warm Ups to Game Play and Training principles. Browse our blog to find more information but in the meantime we will work on some visuals and blogs around Active/Dynamic warm ups!

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