Top 5 football warm-up exercises

Warm-up exercises are defined as a set of either mental or physical activities whose main goal is to boost the body’s capacity  for any strenuous activity.

Joints, muscles, and nerve endings are stimulated through a sequence of exercises, preparing your body for sports performance. Warming up is one of the most important things athletes can do to prepare for a game. As a result, it requires the same mental and technical effort as any of the other actions planned for the season.

Warm-ups, both individually and collectively, will not only improve results on the field, but will also aid in the prevention of future injuries.

Types of football warm-ups exercises

The physical trainer, together with the head coach, will be responsible for assembling each exercise or drill. Seeking to improve the work of each session in accordance with the goals set at the start of the season.

“Warming up for a daily training session differs from warming up for a game.”

Furthermore, this prevents players from feeling that each training session is the same as the last. This would result in boredom and a lack of motivation.

The coach is responsible for not only the physical and technical development of each team member, but also for his or her players’ emotional well-being. He’s the one who must provide the guidelines for motivating the team.

When planning which type of warm-up to carry out, the physical trainer must assess which exercises and tactics are best suited to the team since each team has strengths and weaknesses that need to be enhanced or developed.

Each warm-up session should always have the following elements as the foundation:

  • Endurance  
  • Coordination
  • Ball control
  • Speed 
  • Strength

Stretching Exercises

The purpose of stretching is to stimulate the different muscle groups that make up our body prior to a strong physical activity. The aim is to avoid injuries and increase body and muscle temperature.

It must  be carried out in a gradual and step-by-step manner in order to activate all the extremities that will be used in the upcoming match. 

It is recommended that they last no more than ten minutes. They can also be done in two ways: dynamically or statically. Above all, it is critical to obey the coach’s directions, as overstretching might reduce the players’ performance.

Static stretching

Warm-up exercises of this type refer to any stretch where the athlete holds the posture for a set amount of time.

Warming up with static stretching is recommended after aerobic exercises such as jogging across the field.

Each area of the body has a specific position or stretch that works that specific muscle group. 

We perform joint mobility from the upper to the lower body or vice versa: head, neck, shoulders, elbows, arms, wrists, hands, fingers, waist, hips, glutes, legs, knees, …

We must remember to give equal weight to the lower and upper trains, thus we will execute the same amount of repetitions for each.

Dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretches are joint workouts that use dynamic movements such as bouncing or swinging to improve the athlete’s range of motion and flexibility while lowering muscle stiffness.

Shoulder rotations, wrists, lumbar, and leg movements such as squats, kicks, side bends, and streches are among the exercises recommended in this technique.

More and more sports professionals are recommending the use of dynamic stretching prior to fast-paced sports, leaving static stretching for the post-training cool-down.

The physical trainer must evaluate the strategy for warm-up exercises prior to a football match, which can be done by comparing different types of techniques.

Football specific warm-up drills

Through specific warm-up exercises, we stimulate individual parts of the body that will ultimately be used the most during an upcoming sport activity.   

In football, the lower body is the muscle group that is used the most and requires a good warm-up to prevent injuries and improve the athlete’s range of motion.

There are different exercises that can be done. They can be done individually or in groups, and they can also be adapted according to the position of the player, like a specific warm-up drill for goalies.

Individual warm-ups such as passing improve the players’ coordination, strategy, technique, and strength. Similarly, shots at goal, as well as dribbling, are required.

Rondos, possession exercises, tag, and finishing games are excellent warm-up workouts that can be done in groups and contribute to the development of the players basic technical skills. 

General Warm-up

The goal of the global warm-up, as opposed to the particular warm-up, is to engage all muscle groups and joints in a general approach.

These are much more dynamic and faster exercises that should not last over ten minutes. They also have a lower intensity level than the previous ones, and should be performed from the upper to the lower train, or vice versa.

They normally begin with a modest run for a few of minutes to warm up without becoming fatigued followed by a series of exercises that engage the entire body.

  • Running with lateral, backward, and forward jumps
  • Skipping variations to lift and stretch the glutes, calves, abductors, and quads
  • The waist twists in motion to stretch the lower back
  • Jumping kicks to improve coordination and precision

Post Match

One of the basic and essential post-match actions is to perform a series of exercises to restore the body to its natural state after overexertion. It helps with recovery and prevents future injuries.

The usual practice is to perform a light jog and a series of exercises to decongest all joints, like stretching. Adding breathing exercises to this practice to lower the heart rate and promote relaxation is a great way for the players to start their recovery period and warm down after the game.

It’s also very important to stay hydrated during this process. Fluid intake is vital to nourish the body after a big efforts.

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