Warm-Ups Introduction Warming-up It is important that young people There are three different types of warm-up activities in this section: come to understand the importance Mobility Activities of warming-up before and cooling These are activities that mobilise the joints that students are going to down after activity so that they use during the lesson in order to avoid injury. Some of them are maintain good practice throughout compound activities that mobilise whilst gently raising the heart rate. their sporting lives. Pulse-Raisers In this section you will find a series These activities are designed to gradually increase the heart rate of warm-up and cool down activities of the students and to warm up the large muscle groups. that have been designed to deliver to your class prior to and following Dynamic Stretching Activities any athletics lesson. In addition These activities consist of controlled movement of parts of the there are some specific warm-ups in body, gradually increasing reach and speed until the limit of the the introductory sections. participant’s range of motion is attained. All of the warm-up activities are Dynamic stretches require skill and control and should only be appropriate for students between attempted by more able students and under close supervision. the ages of 11 and 16 and for A large number of students are unable to perform dynamic indoor or outdoor settings. stretches under control with good technique and through a full range of movement, therefore static stretches will probably still be needed to be performed in order to ensure they have stretched effectively. You should base the decision whether to stretch dynamically or not on the individual ability of the students. It is assumed at this level that students know how to carry out the basic static stretches. It is recommended both for safety and in order to perform the optimum warm up, that your students start with a mobility activity, progress through to a pulse-raising activity and then finish with static and if they are sufficiently able, dynamic stretches. Cooling down It is equally important that students cool down at the end of a session. It is recommended that students lower their pulse rate gradually to the pre-activity rate and then stretch. Mobility activities are not necessary. Walking is the best way of slowing down the pulse rate. You might like to simply ask the class to form a circle and jog for a minute, progressively reducing speed and then walking for one minute before performing some stretches. The Pulse-Raiser activities can also be used for cooling down but they should be implemented inversely. For example, with Pulse-Raiser – “Sideways Shift”, ask students to start with a skip and to gradually slow down to a walking pace. When cooling down, intersperse static stretches with walking. You can even stretch the upper body whilst walking. This will ensure that the participants do not cool down too quickly. A full body stretch is recommended regardless of the athletic activity that has been participated in. Dynamic stretches are not appropriate for cooling down. Warm-Ups Mobility Activities It should be made clear to students that these activities should be done in a controlled way with no swift movements. Mobility Activity 1 Neck and Shoulders Ask students to march on the spot. Ask them to tilt their head slightly forward and then move their head slowly from side to side in front of the body. They should never move their head forwards and backwards. Repeat this three times. Then ask them to make a small forward circle with both shoulders at the same time. Repeat this in a backwards direction. Repeat in both directions three times. Ensure that movement is carried out in an extremely controlled manner. Mobility Activity 2 Head, Arms and Trunk Ask students to march on the spot. Students should place their hands and arms out to the front so they are at shoulder level, palms facing downwards. Students should turn their head, arms and shoulders round to the left as far as they will go taking the right arm across the chest, then change direction. Hips should be kept facing forwards throughout. Repeat three times on each side. Mobility Activity 3 Ankles Ask students to stand on one leg with one hand against a wall or on a partner’s shoulder and lift the other leg off the ground with a bent knee. They should extend and flex the foot on the raised leg, then turn it from left to right. Repeat three times and then swap legs. Mobility Activity 4 Knees Ask students to bring the heel of one leg up behind them until it is touching their bottom. Encourage them to support the ankle joint with their free hand if necessary. Slowly lower the foot back down to the floor. The back should be kept straight throughout. Repeat three times then swap legs. Mobility Activity 5 Hips Ask students to stand with their knees, hips and ankles in alignment and hands resting either on a partner’s shoulder or against a wall. Students should slowly raise one knee so that the thigh is at a 90º angle to their torso, take it out to the side as far as they can and then back down to the floor. Repeat three times then swap legs. Warm-Ups Pulse-Raisers Emphasise to students that it is important to start slowly and to gradually increase the pace. Pulse-Raiser 1 Jogging by Numbers Ask students to jog around the activity area. Differentiation When you call out a number between one and seven, students must form groups of this number as Wheelchair users can vary their means of travel soon as possible. by weaving or travelling backwards. Once groups have been formed, students must start Visually impaired students might like to work jogging again until another number is called. with a sighted partner. Ask students to rotate their shoulders forwards and backwards during certain periods of jogging. Students can be asked to travel in different ways, skipping or hopping for example. Pulse-Raiser 2 On the Spot Jog Instruct students to run on the spot on the balls of Differentiation their feet as quickly as they can. At your instruction they should jog in one of the This can be adapted for wheelchair users with following ways: the activity focus remaining on maximising - pumping their arms at the same time pushing action with their hands. - kicking their heels up as close to their bottoms Students who are unable to pump their arms as possible can alter the manner in which they jog, taking - bringing their knees up in front of them as high their feet further apart and closer together as possible alternately for example. - concentrating solely on moving their feet as quickly as possible – with minimal arm movement and knee lift. Pulse-Raiser 3 Elbow to Knee Ask students to find their own space and to stand Differentiation with their hands on their heads. Instruct them to bring their right elbow and their Wheelchair users can bend their trunk forward left knee together, keeping their hands on their so that their elbow is brought to their knee. heads at all times. Students can perform this activity seated if they They should raise their leg slightly but also bend have difficulty in maintaining balance. their trunk forward so that the two meet at about hip-height. They should then change legs. Instruct the student to repeat this several times increasing speed steadily. Warm-Ups Pulse-Raisers Emphasise to students that it is important to start slowly and to gradually increase the pace. Pulse-Raiser 4 Twisting Bounce Ask students to stand in a space with their feet together. As they jack their knees should be in line with their At your instruction they should begin to bounce low toes, their toes should be turned out. on the spot. Knees should bend on landing and land placing the Bounce on the spot twenty times. whole foot on the floor. At your instruction they should bounce their legs to the right and their arms to the left across their body. Differentiation The next bounce should take their arms and legs in Wheelchair users should complete the twist with the opposite direction to where they were the bounce their upper bodies. before. Students who have coordination problems should After this motion has been repeated several times, be allowed to perform the activity at a lower instruct students to add in a jumping jack after every rate of intensity. two bounces. Pulse-Raiser 5 Line Dancing Ask students to stand side by side in lines. March on the spot for a count of five. At your instruction take them through the Two turns to the left followed by two turns to following routine. They should try to execute it in the right. unison. Try to keep the transition between each movement fluid so that a routine is formed. Differentiation Two steps forwards followed by two steps back. Repeat five times. Wheelchair users can move themselves forwards and backwards and weave instead of side-shifting. Side shift left two steps, side shift back two steps. Repeat five times. You may need to practice each component in isolation prior to completing the routine. Side shift right two steps, side shift back two steps. Repeat five times. Ask students to establish their own routine. Hop on the right leg for a count of five, hop on the left leg for a count of five. Pulse-Raiser 6 Circle Run Split the class into three or four groups. Whichever one does not arrive first to fill the gap Each group should stand in a circle facing inwards is the next runner. except for a nominated runner. Differentiation All group members should march on the spot. The runner should walk round the outside of the Alternate the movement style used. circle, and at any time he or she can touch another Visually impaired students may need to run with student on the back. When this happens, he or she and the person standing to the right of them in the the student touched, run round the circle in opposite circle. directions to try and reach the gap in the circle first. Warm-Ups Dynamic Stretching Activities Dynamic stretches over-ride the stretch reflex within the muscle. The stretch reflex is the body’s self defence mechanism to ensure that muscles are not pulled or wrenched. If carried out correctly, dynamic stretches are safe and will result in a greater range of motion. Dynamic Stretch 1 Arm Swing Muscle groups: pectoralis major, deltoid, latissimus dorsi Students should stand with knees slightly bent and back straight. Ask them to swing both arms up above the head and back down behind the body. Repeat five times. Students should then swing both arms out to the sides and then swing them back in, crossing them in front of the chest. Repeat five times. Dynamic Stretch 2 Squats Muscle groups: gluteals, hip flexors, calves Students should stand with their hands out in front for balance, looking straight ahead. They should bend at the knees until thighs are parallel with the floor (90º angle). Once students reach the 90º position they should fully straighten legs in a slow controlled motion to return to starting position. The back should be kept straight. They should breathe in as they descend, and out as they rise. Dynamic Stretch 3 Lunges Muscle groups: abdominals, hip flexors, gluteals, calves Students stand with both feet together and their back straight. Ask them to lunge forward with the right leg. Their right thigh should be parallel to the ground, (90º angle of the knee) and the right lower leg vertical. Students should spring back to the starting position then repeat with the left leg. Repeat ten times on each leg. Warm-Ups Dynamic Stretching Activities Dynamic Stretch 4 Clawbacks Muscle groups: gluteals, hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings Students should stand with both feet together and their back straight. Ask them to kick their right leg forward high and then extend the lower limb. Bring the leg back down, as though clawing against the floor. Swap legs. Repeat ten times on each leg. Dynamic Stretch 5 Upper Body Muscle groups: hip flexors, hamstrings, obliques Ask students to find a partner. Ask them to start back to back, standing with their back relaxed. Students should stand tall with their hands above their head and touching their partner’s hands. Then ask them to bend at the hips taking their trunk and both arms down and touch their partner’s hands between the legs. Pairs should straighten up back to the starting position. Repeat five times then change sides.