Pictured above-centre is Lawrence Dallaglio leading his Wasps R.F.C. teammates in their warm-up. Dallaglio was a key player when England won the rugby world cup in 2003, being the only player to play in all games. A good warm-up is the essential starting point before any training session or competitive contest. This is true for u12 Saturday morning rugby to professional level tennis. So what should a good warm-up consist of?
1. 8-10min of general, low to moderate intensity multi-directional movement, incorporating upper and lower body
2. 8-10min dynamic flexibility
3. 8-10min of innervation which consists of fast feet movement patterns, agility and quickness with added specificity
4. 8-10min of each individual player taking some time to themselves to work on anything specific they need to
All major muscle groups should be touched upon individually within this framework, and it is important to feel that sensation of a “first breath” so that when high intensity action is experienced right away in the training session or match, the athlete is physically and mentally ready. We usually bring our athletes to 150-160b.min (and occasionally beyond) over 25-35min in the warm-up to ensure that when they step onto the field of play, they’re ready to go.