Warming Up Ideas

warming up ideasI'm going to explain my belief systems based on trial and error, science and reading constantly on the best way. Try to filter everything too with a constant appreciation of logistics, if you don't have enough space, equipment or time you just have to do the best job you can. But even allowing for that I will still always keep this system in place I'm about to explain to you. I also hate the term Warm Up, It's still training after all, the words warm up to me mean a slow jog and some lousy stretches, let's use this time for some proper S&C work, taking into account the fact we have to build things up gradually. I also have assumed you have foam rolled and stretched before you have hit the pitch, for my systems this is non-negotiable and my players must do it. 

When you coach a team - the following core components should be in the warm up (this is my beliefs, if you have different let's meet up for coffee and discuss)

1. Bio motor qualities (March, Skip, Shuffle, Cross In Front, Back Peddle, Ladder Drills, Zig-Zags)
2. Core (Plank, Bridge, Pallof Press, Pillar Work, 1 leg dl, Push ups, Band Work)
3. Hand Eye Co-ordination (Tennis Ball work, Ball catching, Reaction Balls, Ball Drills, Specific skill work with catching a different ball to the one you play with helps too.)
4. Mobility (World’s greatest stretch, Deep Squat, Toe touch, Quad Walk, Inchworm, FMS Correctives, Crawling)

Every warm up must contain all of the above but emphasis more on certain days to keep it fun and interesting. So on Monday you might do 80% Core - 20% the rest or on Wednesday you might do 80% Hand Eye Co-Ordination - 20% the rest.

 Your session plans must reflect this - But when starting off if you are more comfortable with one standard Warm up that’s fine. Games are great, Variation is great, starting off as a coach session plans are Gold. Planning is vital for a successful session. These don't need to be fancy, a simple copy book will do fine, I like to back everything up as best I can however so I can look back.

Core Ideas:

Bridge – 1 leg bridge – 1 leg deadlift
Push Up rotate
V Shape - 
High Plank

Hand Eye:

Tennis Ball games
Down up & Change 
Shuffle and Pass Drills 
Throw off wall and catch 
Squash game off walls
Med Ball Throws


Reaching Lunges 
Overhead Squat 
Lunge to Reach 
Worlds Greatest Stretch

Biomotor Skills:

Simple Shuffles
Cross in Fronts 
Zig zag runs 
Slaloms around cones 
Roger Federer Drills with med balls
Cutting Drills 

When we have the Big 4 done - We then need to add some SPEED or POWER work

Speed Ideas:

Hoop Drills 
3 Point Starts 
4 Point Starts 
Line Runs
V Runs 


Med Ball Throws to each other or off a wall – (med balls are AWESOME)
Tyre Stuff – only for rugby teams IMO
Boxing - one player has gloves on, one hold a hit shield.
Heiden and Stick 
Box Jumps
Plyos - knee tucks, hurdles, boxes, Know the level 
Bag Hits - Rugby (maybe as a bit of fun for GAA players but coach it well) 

Sample Warm up session Plan 

Jog around park - introduce stretches as you go – Keep it snappy

Phase 1: Team lined up in lines - cones down – 10 meters away

4 x A March
4 x B March 
4 X Front High Knees 
4 X Side High Knees

Phase 2: 

4 X Tennis Ball Throws with shuffles - Make tougher as you go, introduce different calls and cues to challenge your team. 

Phase 3: 

4 X Spiderman crawls - Front and Side for Mobility

Phase 4: Speed

4 X Cone Side Step 
4 X 3:4 Point Starts 

Phase 5: Power (note need soft leather style med balls)

MB Throws Continuous with various techniques.


These are just my beliefs and how I approach warming up teams. I would recommend investing in a few cheap Heart rate monitors too and see what HR your players are hitting, too low and it's not good, too high it's probably not great either - think short, sharp and smart. 

Coach Hare