Updated: Sep 10, 2019
Whether you coach gym, cheer, dance or any other sport: if you still think warmups are just « something you need to get through » while everybody rolls their eyes OR you’re looking for some new ideas to spruce up your conditioning, READ ON!
Firstly, let’s get a few things out of the way: the bottom line is that warmup & conditioning should be FUNctional! What we mean is:
If your warmup & conditioning is FUN but not functional, you’re not effectively using everyone’s time. You’re missing out on a real opportunity to develop essential skills and athletic development.
If your warmup & conditioning is FUNCTIONAL but no fun, you could be at risk of boring your team, reducing motivation and decreasing their interest in fitness.
If your warmup is neither fun or functional, well... we’re sorry to say but you can’t expect real progress or productivity from your team.. and good luck dealing with all the extra injuries!
If you’re using conditioning as punishment: You’re teaching your team that exercise is a negative consequence of poor behaviour or a mistake, instead of an empowering activity that is an essential part of sport.
Now that we have the formalities out of the way here are 8 ways to make your warmup & conditioning more FUNctional!
Organise a structured activity that the team can easily get stuck in and engage with & remember.
Use warmup & conditioning to break down fundamental movement & technique used in skills later in the practice.
Instead of conditioning an entire team of athletes, pair or group athletes together so that they help each other with compliance and getting through the activity.
Use music!! Music keeps the beat, reinforces rhythm, lifts mood and adds structure to your warmup. This is why we have partnered with PowerMusic Cheer to add great tunes to all our workouts. Music is LIFE!
Learn a routine or sequence of exercises: if the team knows what to expect, they can get through a full exercise sequence with a soundtrack, video screening or just you saying, READY? GO!
Play a game: turn a drill or research some functional games that are GREAT fun and also teach essential movement for your sport.
Use this time to develop endurance. Aim to increase heart rate above 75%BPM for 10-15 minutes to train both aerobic and anaerobic systems.
Swap static stretching for dynamic stretches. For decades, sports science has proven that prolonged static stretching during a warmup increases injuries, yet so many teams are still stretching statically in their warmup. READ MORE ABOUT DYNAMIC WARMUP HERE.
Need some inspiration? Here are our top 10 warmup & conditioning ideas
Feel free to use them, and we LOVE shoutouts and a video tag of your practice - we will repost!
Tag @CheerConditioningAcademy #BodyBeforeSkill
1. LEARN A FUN DANCE TO START YOUR WARM UP
2. USE PROPS OR MUSIC FOR A DYNAMIC STRETCH
3. LEARN A CONDITIONING TRACK TO PUSH YOUR STAMINA
4. USE SPORT-SPECIFIC EXERCISES
5. SET UP A DRILL CIRCUIT
6. PAIR UP TO HELP & LEARN FROM EACH OTHER
7. TURN A SKILL INTO A DRILL BY ADDING REPETITION & VARIATION
8. BABY SHARK CHALLENGE.. ALWAYS A CROWD PLEASER!
9. MAKE YOUR WORKOUT A TEAM CHALLENGE
10. MAKE UP SOME GAMES!
We hope these have given inspiration for your own team warmup & conditioning. Don't forget to bookmark this page to keep these ideas handy when you're feeling stuck!
IF YOU’RE a CheerConditioning.Academy MEMBER; we have an entire video library of warmup & conditioning videos, tutorials, learning opportunities, coaching toolkits & guides. Here are just a few: