P.E. Classes Warm-ups part 5

Next I am going to give you an example for the middle School Class. Lets discuss just a few differences between this routine and the High School one. First look at the age factor. What do you need to take into account in the ages of 10-13 that is typically not as severe from 14 on. In my opinion it is growth spurts. Remember I said typically. Obviously some kids will still make major growth gains in High School but Middle School is where they typically get to that awkward stage. It becomes difficult for them to move as efficiently due to the bone growth rapidly out pacing the muscular system. I think you can agree that a majority of kids go through that phases where they lose coordination and flexibility. 

Since these are some issues that your students are dealing with, the best thing you can do for them is to provide them with as much muscular efficiency training as possible. What I mean by this is give as much stimulation to the muscular system as you can to help it continue to promote proper movement of the skeletal system during these large growth spurts. Also if you refer back to the early philosophy posts consider following the natural strength progression when warming up your middle schoolers. 

Since I want to follow this progression I am going to warm this class up on some type of soft surface, either grass or perhaps wrestling mats. 

Once again the components we are looking for include the following; Muscular activation in all 4 directions of upper and lower body, spine rotation, spine flexion/extension, hip flexor and hamstring range, proper introduction of vertical load, and sport specificity stimulus. I am going to add this to the list for this age group, internal external rotation of the femur, and abduction/adduction of the scapulas. I notice in the middle school age group that due to lack of training and growth spurts they typically have terrible posture and an increasing amount of kyphosis (rounding of the upper back). 

So here is the list for the middle school. I will do my best with descriptions on this one, if they do not make sense to you send me a message and I will see what I can do. Just as with the High School one I will eventually send this out in a pdf file as well as in video form.

1. Wishbone Kicks – 20x each leg (Lay on back with knees together and feet apart with hips and knees bent at 90 degrees. Extend right leg toward the sky and lower back down to 90 degrees. Repeat with left leg and alternate back and forth.)

This is one of the best moves I learned while working for Adapt training. It is a great way to introduce proper flexion of the hip as well as hamstring range, and internal rotation of the femur.

2. Butterfly Crunches – 50x (Lie on your back with the soles of your feet together and let your legs relax to the sides. In this position place hands behind head keeping elbows back; squeeze and hold glutes while contracting abdominal muscles and lifting shoulders off the floor and back down; repeat up and down.)

Really focus on proper form. DO NOT allow them to pull their head forward or bring their elbows forward. Both of these are signs of weakness in the abdominal wall. Teach them the height of the crunch is not important, just the contraction of the muscles.

3. Frog Bridge – 30 seconds (Lie on back, place soles of feet together, relax and spread apart knees letting them fall towards the floor.n Now by squeezing your glutes, lift your hips as high into the air as you can and hold. With the hips as high as you can get them, also try to lower your knees to the ground)

This is basically the antagonist to the wishbone kicks. Now the focus is external rotation of the femur and lengthening of the hip flexors and groin. This one is a good example of why compression shorts are a good idea.

4. Active Bridge – 30x (Lie on back with knees bent and feet on the floor. Keep knees and feet at hip width.  Squeeze glutes, raising hips and lower back off the floor and then lower down; repeat.)

A great move for introducing flexion and extension of the pelvis and lumbar spine in a supported position. 

5. Hollywood Stretch – 1:00 min each side (Sit on floor with left leg straight, bend right knee and place right foot on the outside of left knee.  Put right elbow on the outside of right knee and left hand flat on the floor behind you.  Press right elbow into right knee and twist upper body back toward left hand.)

Not sure why my teachers called it this but they all did. I am a big fan of this one for the rotation of the spine. I also like the lengthening of the glutes it provides. The key is to make sure the back is straight. if they are all hunched over it defeats the purpose a bit. 

6. Cats & Dogs – 10x (On hands and knees with hands under shoulders and knees under hips, arch back up and pull chin to chest, then lower back toward floor and raise head up; repeat back and forth.)

Classic yoga move is one of the best there is. Just like i mentioned in the High School warm-up, anytime you twist the spine, do a move to realign the vertebrae. have them do this one slow and really emphasize the movement in the scapulas. This is a great way to work on the posture of the upper back. 

7. Kneeling Push-ups – 15x (On hands and knees, arch lower back toward the floor, hands in front of and slightly wider than shoulders and knees directly under hips.  While maintaining this position of hips and back, rock forward, bend arms and drop chest straight down between hands then press back up; repeat.)

This one helps to reinforce the movement you created in the scapulas now by loading directly into them. Make sure they drop their chest between their hands, not their face

8. Kneeling Bridge – 30 sec (Kneeling, grab heels with hands so that thumbs are inside of heels, squeeze glutes and push hips forward into the air and hold.)

Focused range in the hip flexors and one more chance to promote adduction in the scapulas. 

9. Downward Facing Dog – 30 sec (On hands and knees.  Curls toes under feet and straighten legs by lifting knees off the floor.  Press heels towards the floor and hold.)

10. Feet Wide Windmills – 10x each side.  Stand with your feet out much wider than your hips. Now Place the arms straight out to your sides at shoulder height. Keeping your arms straight, bend and twist at the waist as you lower your right hand towards your left foot. Once down, return all the way back to the starting position. Now drop down to the other side. Continue back and forth.

This is an old School move but I love it. Now only is is great for Flexibility in the back, hamstrings, and glutes, it also does a great job of rotation in the spine. I also like to do various type of twists on the floor but since this is for basketball I will not have them lay down on their backs on the gym floor. Not that they could not do it but I want to give an example of how you need to build your warm-ups based on what your surroundings are.

11. Standing Cats and Dogs – 10x. Stand with your feet pointing forwards and placed directly underneath your hips. Now place your hands on your knees and bend the knees just slightly. Now hold this position in your lower body and keep your arms straight as you arch your back up into the air like a scared cat and tuck your chin to your chest. Again without moving your lower body and arms still straight, arch your back down and look up towards the ceiling. Repeat up and down.

Just like earlier, if you twist the spine, immediately do something to realign it.

12. Feet Wide Hip Glides – 10x each direction.  Stand with your feet much wider than your hips. Now bend you hips and knees and place your hands down on the floor. Try to keep your weight in your hips by leaning back just a bit. Now keeping your hips as low as you can and your back as straight as you can, glide to your right, bending the right knee and trying to straighten your left leg. At the end of the motion, flex your left thigh as hard as you can for a second, then glide to the other side and repeat to the left. Continue to glide back and forth.

13. Standing Lunges – 10x each leg. Place your right leg out in front of your left so the feet are at least 3 feet apart. Now place your hands on your hips. Keeping your shoulders up high and your back slightly arched as you bend your left knee and lower it towards the floor. Stop just a few inches before the floor and come back up to the starting position. Repeat up and down and then switch legs.

I like the individual movement within the pelvis. For Kickball, the act of kicking is flexion in one hip, extension in the other. I feel this is a great way to do introduce that type of demand.

14. Bear Crawl – 20 steps. Start on your hands and knees with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Now lift your knees a few inches off the floor keeping your back straight. Start crawling forward taking small steps by reaching out with your left hand and pulling your right leg forward. Now alternate hands and feet back and forth keeping your back flat and knees close to the ground.

This is one of the best moves around. I mention back in the early philosophy posts that this is the most important step in our physical progression. i try to put it in every warm-up and workout I build. It is a great introduction to proper movement and I also like how it places load into all 4 of the structural Joints (shoulder, hips, knees, ankles)

15. High Knees – 20 yards. Using good running mechanics run forwards taking small steps and lifting the knees as high as you can.

One of the classic moves to help prep the body for sprinting

As with the High School Warm-up I would normally do more than this but I hope this is a great example for you. Please use it and give me your feedback

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