Q&A: Warm-Up for Hoops
Q: I've recently started playing pick-up basketball after some time off. I'm nervous about pulling a muscle and other injuries. How should I be warming up before playing?
A: Before you work on your lay-ups and patented jumper, invest 10 minutes to warm up your body for basketball. This will go a long way in decreasing your potential for injury, and it will also help activate the muscles you'll be using when you play. Try this fast routine:
1. Spend the first three minutes doing "activation exercises," meaning movements that activate key muscles, like the ones throughout your hips and torso. Here are a three sample moves:
2. Spend the next five minutes on dynamic flexibility exercises to lengthen your muscles and skipping movements to help your body start to store and release energy, which you'll need to explode to the ball. Sample moves:
3. The last two minutes should include some sort of "rapid response" foot drills to activate your nervous system. These should be short, six second sets, at most. Sample moves: