Warm ups and Cool downs. What do you do?

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Veteran Member
Posts: 461
Joined: 09 May 2010, 15:31


Intrested to know what stretches/exercises people use in their personal warmups. I generally do a few static stretches and warm up with my team but I really need to get a proper warm up routine going to get the best out of my muscles.

Veteran Member
Posts: 689
Joined: 23 Feb 2011, 05:47


You've come to the right man!

For warm-ups, do dynamic stretching. I don't think I need to elaborate on this we've discussed it before I'm pretty sure. Start off with something to get your blood pumping, like a jog. The cliche' lap of the field should be suffice. I actually start off with some mobility exercises instead, as they both warm and loosen you up. I do things like jogging with your heels to your buttocks, high knees, karaoke shuffle, side stepping, the list goes on. Next I start my stretches. I work from the calves up to my shoulders. Here's a list:

Calf raises
Side to side lateral leg swings
Forward/backward leg swings
'open the gate'
'close the gate'
Walking thigh pulls
Hip rotations (first clockwise then anti-clockwise)
Chest rotations
Arm swings (same deal as the hip rotations, both directions)

Walking thigh pulls: what you do is take a step forward and pull your thigh to your buttocks, very briefly. Immediately you reverse to your other leg and step forward, pulling your other leg, again briefly, don't hold it otherwise that's a static stretch. Do this ten times walking in a straight line. It should just be ten, very brief standing quad stretches in a row. I hope this explains it.

Chest rotations: stand with your feet hip width apart, and your arms out to the sides, straight and parallel to the ground. You should resemble the letter 'T'. Keeping your arms in this position, twist your upper body to the right, then the left, then the right and so on. sh*t explanation I know but hopefully you get the idea. If not I can find a link for you.

If any of the exercises need an explanation let me know and I'll elaborate.

NOTE: for the dynamic stretches, all the ones that involve a rotating or swinging, start off small and build up to an extended range of movement and speed. What I do is start with 5 small, slower movements, then build to a medium pace and larger movement for 5, the finish with 5 fast movements with a quick tempo. So all up that's 15 swings, rotations or whatever in a row, you don't stop, just change the speed and range if movement each 5. This includes the calf raises, just do these on flat ground, not a step, and I usually grasp an object for balance.

I finish the warm up with more intensity: across 100m - walk 20, slow jog 20, jog 20, fast jog 20, sprint the final 20. Catch a breather and then turn and do a fast jog for 100m.

You are warmed up! This takes me 9 minutes, and I've never once pulled a muscle or got a cramp or whatever. Works for me.

Cool down:

100m jog, 100m slow jog, 100m walk. Static stretch your whole body afterwards. This seems to flush out lactic acid every time for me. The first session where I didn't do this, I was sore for 5 days and played like sh*t when I had to play 2 days later. It was a very intense session, so even with the cool-down I was probably going to get sore. But the thing is, the next week I did a very similar session, which I cooled down afterwards, and I was 100% the following morning.

That turned out long! If you need more explanation on anything there let me know.
Everything you need, is already inside.

The Italian Mod
Posts: 3028
Joined: 19 Jun 2007, 22:03


Great post desire! Might I add never to stretch cold muscles. Always warm up with a bit of jogging first. Make sure to pay special attention to the groin and calves, as they are often the most prone to sudden tweaking.

You might try some breathing exercises with your warm-ups and cool-downs as well. Quick, sharp breaths (though not hyperventilation, you know the difference) can ready your body for intense action, and long, deep ones, using the mouth first, holding the air you take in, and then utilizing the nose, can calm your body down and relax you afterwards.

Mentally, you also need a warm-up. After you've done your warm-up stretches, focus on visualization. Close your eyes, and picture your passing motion, your shooting motion, using your favourite trick to beat a defender. The more you do this, the more you'll positively reinforce technique, and be able to 'tap into' your skill that much sooner. Also, mentally, you should cool down. Purge your mind of game thoughts, especially negative ones if you came up short or didn't perform your best. Think instead about how you will do better next time, and then turn your thoughts to something else. The supper awaiting you at home, a hug from your girlfriend, etc.

Veteran Member
Posts: 851
Joined: 30 Jan 2009, 23:49


I like that routine that desire posted, but I'm still going to do static stretching before playing, even if I just hold them for 5 seconds each. Without them, I always feel more vulnerable to muscle pulls.

Is it possible to plateau with a warm up? my team does the exact same thing for every practice/game and it doesn't do it for me anymore. I don't even feel an increased heart rate and my muscles still feel cold.

Veteran Member
Posts: 1105
Joined: 27 Aug 2009, 23:14


it does you no good to do them. afaik most pro's have a consistent routine and my team always had one. Maybe it's just not a good enough warm up.
http://www.hotbodytraining.com/the-low- ... tretching/
read this article.

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