We are half way in to the basketball season. I've been to a lot of games in the past 2 months. As a person who doesn't like to be late, I have had a chance to see the pre-game warm up for most of these games. Most of the time I see half speed lay up lines, stationary shooting and a collection of players laying near half court stretching. Some of the warm ups even involve another person stretching the player or the use of fancy straps. If you have been to games I am sure you have seen this to. This is not helping, and worse yet it might be hurting.
Recent research has shown that that an appropriate dynamic warm up not only help reduce injuries but it also immediately improves physical performance. Several studies have shown, using the same athletes, that when static stretching is performed before sprinting, jumping and agility tests that performance is significantly worse than when a dynamic warm up is performed prior to these tests. Repeated sprint ability, vertical jump height and agility are all things important success in basketball, and research is telling you that you can improve these things by as much as 5% or more --- just based on your warm up routine!
A famous sports quote is "your greatest ability is your availability", suggesting that the ability to remain injury free is extremely important to your team. Good news - use of dynamic warm up exercises has also been found to reduce ankle and knee injuries. Double bang for your buck - better performance and less injuries!
A basketball dynamic warm up should be at least 10 min in length and at an intensity that causes players to break a sweat. Exercises to be included would be - forward and backward skips, side shuffles, carioca with quick hips, speed squats, lunge walks with rotation, squat jumps, ankle pops, hops, zig zag leaps or bounds and progressive running.
Now is always the right time to do the right thing. Get your team on an appropriate dynamic warm up before practice and games now! Let Sport Foundations know if you would like our help.
-Alentorn-Geli et al, Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc (2009) 17:859–879
-Amiri-Khorasani M, Sahebozamani M, Tabrizi KG, Yusof AB. Acute effect of different stretching methods on Illinois agility test in soccer players. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Oct;24(10):2698-704.
-Fletcher IM, Anness R. The acute effects of combined static and dynamic stretch protocols on fifty-meter sprint performance in track-and-field athletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2007 Aug;21(3):784-7.
-Holt BW, Lambourne K The impact of different warm-up protocols on vertical jump performance in male collegiate athletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2008 Jan;22(1):226-9.
-Renstrom et al, Br J Sports Med 2008;42:394–412.
-Sim AY, Dawson BT, Guelfi KJ, Wallman KE, Young WB. Effects of static stretching in warm-up on repeated sprint performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2009 Oct;23(7):2155-62