Fun Class Warm-Up Exercises You've Never Heard Of
Warm-up exercises are a common practice by both coaches and athletes. Here are some fun, little-known warm-ups to teach during your classes.
Some people don't realize that the most important part of a workout happens before you ever break a sweat. Performing stretches and warm-up exercises help raise body temperature, increase circulation, and reduce the risk of injury.
Traditional warm-up exercises like toe touches and jumping jacks are overrated and, quite frankly, a little boring. That's probably why so many people skip this portion of their workout, which could lead to serious health issues.
Do you want to get your clients excited about their exercise warm-up and keep them safe during training? If so, keep reading!
In this article, we'll share some fun and innovative warm-up exercise to incorporate into your workout classes.
Breaking from Convention
Just because something's been done a certain way for so long doesn't make it right. While traditional warm-up exercises have their benefits, always following "best practices" makes you blind to other, potentially better, possibilities.
Talented sports coaches design dynamic workouts that fit their clients' individual needs and personal goals. Your warm-up routine should be just as exciting as what you teach in class.
After all, you want your clients to be energized and motivated for their workout, not bored by old-school warm-up techniques that offer little benefit. By breaking from convention, you're offering customers a unique training experience from start to finish.
This is especially true for trained athletes who are in peak physical condition. Fitness enthusiasts and professionals need to be constantly engaged and challenged.
Fun Warm-Up Exercises to Try
The types of warm-up exercises you can incorporate into your workout classes and personal training sessions are truly endless. With a little knowledge, creativity, and preplanning, you can finally get your clients enthusiastic about the exercise warm-up process.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
You've heard of jump ropes in the gym, but what about hula hoops? One of the most important aspects of any warm-up exercise is to kick your cardiovascular system into high gear. If your workout class is aerobic in nature or includes plenty of cardio or HIIT, a heart-pumping warm-up is a must.
Athletes can use a hula hoop the old-fashioned way (around the waist), around their arms, or even around a leg to practice balance. You can also set up several hula hoops in an alternating pattern on the ground and have your athletes run drills.
Similar to having them step in and out of tires, you can create a variety of layouts that focus on agility and speed.
Barefoot Warm-Up Exercises
While it's always recommended that athletes wear shoes while working out in the gym, these warm-up exercises are best performed barefoot. Why? Your feet can grip and navigate the floor better during certain activities when there's nothing between the soles and the ground below.
Have your clients perform high skips across the floor, landing softly and exploding at the top of the movement. High skips are a type of dynamic stretching that increases the athlete's range of motion and the flow of blood and oxygen to soft muscle tissues.
Next, ask them to lie on their backs near a wall with their heel resting flush against it. Now, have them dorsiflex their foot (bend the toes toward their shin) and hold for a few seconds before bringing it to rest against the wall again. When this warm-up exercise is done barefoot, your client can get closer to the wall and even deeper into the stretch.
Bear in mind that barefoot exercises should only be performed on a safe, dry, clean surface.
For sports coaching that involves a group setting, partner work is a great way to get everyone involved and properly warmed up. Choose a few partner exercises for both muscle stretching and cardio.
Partner plank taps are a great exercise for all skill levels. Have two people face each other in a plank position. Then, have each one lift their opposite hand, giving one another a high-five in the middle before returning to a full-plank position. Continue this for 30 to 60 seconds.
You can also incorporate equipment into your warm-ups. Have two people sit back to back. Hand one of them a medicine ball and then have them reach from side to side, passing the ball back and forth.
This warm-up technique stretches the back, neck, and shoulders while also working the abdominal muscles.
Relay races are another creative way to get large groups of athletes moving, stretching, and having fun. Split your group into teams, with each member completing a single leg of the "race" that involves one exercise.
After they're done, the next person in line can go. The first team to finish wins -- and also has the added benefit of being warmed up and ready to workout.
You can never have too much dynamic stretching in your exercise warm-up plan. These are some fun twists on traditional exercises that are sure to get your clients' hearts racing.
- Jogging forward, then backwards
- Side shuffles
- Sideways jumping jacks
- Butt kickers
- High knees
- Lunges with a twist
You can perform these dynamic stretches in large groups or with single clients.
Create an Engaging Experience
When trying to build your clientele as a sports coach or personal trainer, you need to keep clients engaged and excited about working with you. For most people, it's hard enough to find the motivation to get up and get moving. If your workout routine leaves them snoring instead of sweating, chances are, they won't book your services again.
And it all starts with the warm-up exercises you choose. Skip those boring stretches and incorporate some fun and creative new moves into your workout classes.
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