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Session Title: Dynamic Warm-up and Sport Specific Drills
Presenters: Dynamic Warm-up Sport Specific Drills
Jane M. Shimon, Ed.D., A.T.,C. Brian W. McGladrey
Department of Kinesiology Department of Exercise & Sport Science
Boise State University University of Utah
1910 University Dr. 850 E. 250 S.
Boise, ID 83725-1710 Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(208) 426- 1531 (801) 581-7558
The following sets of handouts will address various dynamic warm-up exercises and sport-
specific drills to enhance flexibility, strength, balance, speed, agility, quickness, and body
control. These activities and drills can be used and modified for students in K-12 physical
education and athletics.
Traditional warm-ups performed in athletics and physical education classes have generally
consisted of low-intensity jogging, followed by a series of static, sitting stretches. By the time all
the static stretches have been completed, the heart rate has returned to near resting levels and
the body has, in fact, cooled back down. A warm-up should prepare students and athletes to
move towards more vigorous activity. Instead of using static stretching during warm-ups, it has
been recommended to implement more dynamic movements during warm-up. Dynamic warm-
ups include low-, moderate-, to high-intensity hops, skips, jumps, lunges, and other upper and
lower body movements to help elevate core body temperature, maximize active ranges of
motion, and excite motor units and kinesthetic awareness (Faigenbaum & McFarlane, 2007). In
essence, dynamic exercises prepare the body for physical education lessons, athletic practices,
The activities included in this presentation are intended to address NASPE Standard 3:
Participates regularly in physical activity and Standard 4: Achieves and maintains a health-
enhancing level of physical fitness.
Directions. Design a 30 - 60 ft area (10-20 yds) for warm-up (or use the width of a basketball
court). Place students in rows, 2-3 deep. The first person in each row goes first, followed by the
next row, etc. Have rows stop at the end line and wait for the return activity. This organization
allows for a ratio of work and rest.
Low Intensity Dynamic Warm-up Exercises:
1. Walking Arm Circles. Arms complete forward circles for ½ the distance, then switch to
backward circles for the remaining distance (involves the overall shoulder capsule).
2. Walking Arm Hugs. Both arms fly out (open chest, pectoralis stretch), then cross to hug
the chest (mid-trapezius/rhomboid stretch).
3. Walking Fly Swatters. Both arms swing up and behind the
head, touching the back of the neck (swatting bugs) with each
step. This exercise involves external rotation with stretch to the
triceps. Variations include: cross-arm swatters, moving
one arm up and behind the neck, while the other arm travels low
behind the back (top hand tries to touch bottom hand); arm
flutters, moving both arms quickly out to the side, or moving
both hands quickly forward and backward overhead.
Low-to-Moderate Intensity Dynamic Warm-up Exercises:
4. Cheerleaders. Lateral shuffle down the floor while swinging arms up and out to the side
and back, like a jumping jack. At the half-way point, turn and face the other way and
continue. This exercise involves the hip abductors (outer hip) and adductors (groin), as well
as the shoulders.
5. High Knee Lift. On each walking step, lift and hug one
knee towards the chest while raising up on the toes.
Variations include swinging arms in opposition or
extending leg out as if crossing a hurdle. This exercise
involves the hip flexors and stretches the gluteus maximus.
6. Stepping Trunk Turns. On each high-knee step, an elbow
touches the opposite knee (R elbow to L knee; then L elbow
to R knee). This exercise involves the hip flexors and core.
7. Frankensteins (Toe Touch and Walk). On each step, extend one leg
straight out in front of the body and touch knee/toes. Do the same with
the other leg during the next step. This exercise involves the hip
flexors and stretches the hamstrings.
8. Airplanes. On each step, bend over and touch the
floor while raising the rear leg into the air. Laterally
lift the arms out to the side to mimic wings of an
airplane. This exercise addresses hamstrings
9. Inch Worm. Starting in a push-up position, walk feet
toward the hands, keeping the legs straight. Then,
walk the hands forward while keeping the arms and
legs extended (plank to upside-down V to plank,
etc.). This exercise address the core while the body
is in a plank position, and the hamstrings/low back/
calves when in an upside-down V.
10. X Lunge. Lunge sideways with the R foot, then step
behind with the L (forms an X). Finish the movement with
a forward bend at the hips. Try to keep back leg (behind
leg) straight. After half the distance has been completed,
face the opposite direction (Lunge with L, step behind with
R). This exercise stresses the lateral hip/IT band (iliotibial
band) and hamstrings of the back leg.
11. Giant Lunge Steps. Take long steps forward and lunge with each
step. After half the distance has been completed, turn around and
continue stepping and lunging backwards as far as possible.
Variations include raising arms overhead with each step. For higher
intensity, add a knee hug between each lunge. Make sure to keep
the head/trunk upright, the front knee inline with the foot, and the
back knee off the floor. This exercise stretches the hip flexors of the
rear leg and involves the quadriceps of the front leg.
12. Lunge Trunk Turns. One each step, lunge and touch the opposite
elbow to the opposite knee. Make sure to keep the head/trunk upright,
the front knee inline with the foot, and the back of the knee off the floor.
This exercise stretches the hip flexors of the rear leg, and involves the
quadriceps of the front leg and core.
13. Lateral Shuffles. In a ready position (semi-squat position), lateral shuffle with a long first
step followed by a second quick step. After half the distance has been completed, face the
opposite direction and continue.
14. Carioca. Laterally step down the floor while alternating one foot in front of the body and the
other behind. Half way down the floor, switch position and face the opposite wall. Use arms
to horizontally swing in opposition to each step.
15. Back Pedal. While keeping feet under the hips, take small quick steps backwards.
16. Backward Run. Reach back with one leg on each step.
17. High Knee Skips. While skipping, emphasize high knee-lift, alternating arm action, and
pushing up off the toes.
18. Back-end kicks. Kick heel to the buttocks on each step.
19. Run & Go. Jog into a run for the first half of the distance and finish with a sprint. Quickly
stop by bending knees and using short steps. Variations include doing a push-up first, then
quickly jumping up to complete the exercise.
Stationary Dynamic Exercises.
Crunch Punches. Begin in a sit-up position with knees bent and arms crossed at the chest.
Crunch up and punch out arms past the knees, then lower body and shoulders slowly back
down to the floor. Repeat desired number of times. Variation includes alternating punches
across the body past opposite knees.
Standing Crunch Rotations. Using a wide base of support,
bring arms laterally out to the side. While keeping arms extended,
slowly lower the body and rotate arms one at a time to the opposite
thigh, then knee, mid-calf, and ankle. Each crunch rotation can
include pivoting on the balls of the feet.
Standing Leg Cradle. While standing on one leg, lift the other leg
using both hands. Turn the knee outward while lifting the lower leg
up into a modified (standing) hurdler stretch (ankle high). An easier
position includes being supine on the ground while assuming the position.
Hamstring Rollover. Lie on the back with
arms pointing to the ceiling. Slowly curl up
while assuming a modified hurdler’s position
and reach forward with the hands to stretch.
Roll back down, and repeat with a curl and
stretch to the opposite leg on the next repetition.
The motion should be a continuous, slow, and controlled flowing motion. Stretch at the
waist/hips, pretending to stretch over a bowling ball positioned in your lap. A variation
includes both legs rising up to meet the hands at the start, and as the body slowly curls up,
the legs assume a modified hurdler’s position prior to final the stretch.
Hurdler’s Twist. Begin in a modified hurdler’s position.
Reach out to stretch one leg, then lean back into a v-sit
position while stretching out the other leg into position.
Repeat. The motion should be slow and continuous.
Stretch at the waist/hips, pretending to stretch over a
bowling ball positioned in your lap.
Wave Push-Ups. At the end of a push-up (plank position),
lift one hand up and reach out in front of the body or lift one
hand off the ground and wave to a partner. Repeat with the
opposite hand before going back down for another push-up.
Keep shoulders level on wave.
Chu, D., Faigenbaum, and Falkel, L. (2006). Progressive plyometrics for kids. Monterey, CA:
Faigenbaum, A, and McFarlane, J.E., Jr. (2007). Guidelines for implementing a dynamic warm-
up for physical education. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, 78(3), 25-28.
PE LESSONS TO DEVELOP SPORT-SPECIFIC TECHNIQUES
AND INCREASE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
These PE lesson activities address the development of students’ sport-specific techniques,
motor skills, and fitness, while offering a conceptual alternative to more traditional PE activities.
Borrowing from testing conducted of aspiring professional football players (NFL Combine), and
training strategies designed for athletes interested in improving speed, agility, and quickness
(Brown & Ferrigno, 2005), these activities are designed to assist students in developing agility,
quickness, core stabilization, balance, flexibility, body control, strength, and endurance. At a
minimum, the activities included in this presentation are intended to address NASPE Standards
1 and 2. The desired effect on students is that development of these sport-specific movement
skills will result in achieving the objectives of NASPE Standards 3, 4, and 6. Whether
participating in the activities or simply observing, participants will find the included handouts
helpful to learning the agility drills, and to understanding how to organize them into a sequence
that will serve as a PE lesson.
An objective of the Sport Education model (Siedentop et al., 2004) is for students to develop
sport-specific techniques, as well as fitness. In order to play any sport well, students must be
able to “move quickly, jump, and have a particular level of stamina” (p. 9). A study of fifth and
sixth grade students by Watson et al. (1999) reported that individuals who do not feel competent
in activities that require physical skill tend to be the most inactive. As part of the National
Standards, it is recommended that students be able to demonstrate competency in motor skills
and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities, and demonstrate
understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the
learning and performance of physical activities (NASPE, 2004).
One of the many challenges faced by physical education (PE) teachers is the need to
increase students’ time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Meeting
objective 22-10 of Healthy People 2010 (Public Health Service, 2000) requires increasing the
proportion of adolescents who spend at least 50 percent of school PE class time being
physically active. Defining “being physically active,” objective 22-6 recommends teachers
increase the proportion of adolescents who engage in moderate PA for at least 30 minutes on 5
or more of the previous 7 days, and recommends with objective 22-7 increasing the proportion
of adolescents who engage in vigorous PA that promotes cardiorespiratory fitness 3 or more
days per week for 20 or more minutes per occasion (Public Health Service, 2000). Addressing
these objectives and concerns suggests that PE curricula be designed to include lessons
intended to assist with development of sport-specific techniques and fitness, while at the same
time increasing feelings of competence, confidence, and self efficacy in students.
Objectives of Program
• Borrowing from testing conducted of aspiring professional football players (NFL
Combine), as well as training strategies designed for any athlete interested in improving
speed, agility, and quickness (Brown & Ferrigno, 2005), activities will be presented and
demonstrated that assist students in development of the following: foot speed, agility,
quickness, core stabilization, balance, flexibility, body control, strength, and endurance.
• How these activities address the development of students’ sport-specific techniques and
fitness, as well as offering a conceptual alternative to more traditional PE activities will
• How teachers can integrate these activities into their PE programs, to include the Sport
Education model, will be discussed. For example, teachers can elect to have students
perform the agility drills with or without the additional stations listed below, and they can
be performed by students multiple times, depending on lesson length and objectives.
For purposes of increasing MVPA performing the agility drills in a sequence multiple
times is recommended.
What the Audience will Learn
Conference attendees electing to participate in this activity session will learn the drills listed
below, as well as gain an understanding of how they contribute to achieving the objectives
Agility Drills (see diagrams below)
▪ 20-Yard Square ▪ X-Pattern Multi-Skill ▪ 20-Yard Shuttle
▪ 40-Yard Backpedal – Forward ▪ 30-Yard T-Drill ▪ Agility Ladder
▪ 40-Yard Square – Carioca
▪ Jump Rope ▪ Abdominal Crunches
▪ Push-Ups ▪ Med-Ball Throws
Potential Drills/Activities Sequence
▪ 20-Yard Square ▪ Abdominal Crunches ▪ Med-Ball Throws
▪ 40-Yard Backpedal – Forward ▪ 30-Yard T-Drill ▪ Agility Ladder
▪ Push-Ups ▪ 20-Yard Shuttle ▪ Jump Rope
▪ 40-Yard Square – Carioca