Using ground based movements to increase flexibility

Ground based warmups can be used in addition to dynamic walking movements to increase flexibility in the hips, shoulders, and ankles. It may also be your only warmup if, after attempting dynamic movements, you find: poor balance, poor trunk strength ( trunk and head flexed forward) with all or most movements ( this will restrict flexibility as a result) and pain or discomfort with this type of warmup. In that instance, perform ground based warmups to increase flexibility and gradually add 1-2 dynamic flexibility movements per week. Perform slowly to build balance and core strength.

Without further ado, here are some examples. Remember these are to be performed on the ground.

ON BACK WARMUPS:1. Hip Rock. Lie on back with knees bent and shoulders out to side. Proceed to rock hips side to side without lifting up shoulders. Do 20 total. To increase range, lift feet off ground.

2. Iron Cross. Same position as above but with legs straight. Proceed to kick leg across your body to your opposite hand. Shoulders should remain down. Try to touch foot to hand. Alternate sides and do 20 total.

3. Straight Leg Kick. Lie on back with legs straight. Kick right leg up 10 times ;do same with left. This will actively stretch your hamstring.

4. Active Glute Stretch. Almost the same as the Hip Rock but place foot on opposite knee and pull it toward ground. Go back and forth each direction with same foot 10 times. Switch and put opposite foot on opposite knee and perform same movement. This will loosen up gluteals.

On Back Ankle Movements. 1. Ankle Circles.

Pull one knee to chest and hold with both hands under knee. Proceed to circle only ankle not knee clockwise 20 times; then counterclockwise 20 times. Do other ankle.

2. Ankle Pumps. Same position as above. Proceed to pull ankle toward you and then push down. Do 20 each

Quadruped Position (Hands and knees or all fours)

1. Fire Hydrant. Lift up bent knee to hip level. (picture dog urinating, sorry for visual) Do 10 each leg

2. Bent Knee Hip Circles. Same position but now circle hip forward 10 times and backward 10 times. Do other hip

3. Straight Leg Circles. Same position but straighten leg out to side. Lift up and circle forward 10 times and backward 10 times. Do oter leg.

4. Straight Leg Kick. Same position but kick one leg straight back (picture a mule kick) 10 times. Do other leg

5. Rockin Horse. Same position but now push hips toward ground and lift chest up. Hold 5-15 seconds. Next stretch back by bringing your butt to your heels and lengthening your arms. (think prayer position) Hold 5-15 seconds.

On Side Shoulder Movements. Lie on right side with head resting on right arm which is straight. Bend right arm so that hand passes by your face. Place left hand on right hand and push down gently towards ground. Hold 2-3 seconds and repeat movement 10 times. Do other side. This will stretch internal rotators of shoulder.

2. Active Chest Stretch. Same position but have top leg bent and place opposite hand on knee so it will not lift up. Reach across your body with top hand. Really reach, like you are going to grab something. Now bring that arm across your body and try to touch the ground with back of your hand. Hold 2-3 seconds and repeat movement 10 times. Repeat other side. This will loosen up pectorals and upper and mid back muscles.

Try these before your workouts,practice or game. Of course, there are more exercises but start with these and be consistent.

Stay tuned for athletic based running movements for warmups.

Thanks for reading,

Andy