Physical therapist demonstrating a warm up

Jan 08, 2021 / Sports Medicine

Get a Jump Ahead of the Competition: Dynamic Warm Up for Basketball

Coaches, we are guessing you are longing for ways to get ahead of your rival! Physical therapist Jessica Penshorn, P.T., D.P.T., A.T.C., L.A.T., has a plan for you to step up your warm-up routine and keep your players off the bench. Learn why it is important and then download the handout to share with your coaching staff and players.

Penshorn first shared the principles of this program in a virtual meeting with the Mavs Academy Coaches Association. They invited her to help the coaches understand and begin to fight the “ACL epidemic” in girls’ basketball. The discussion addressed multiple factors that contribute to an increased risk of knee injuries in female athletes.

These include:
  • Overuse and overtraining
  • Early specialization 
  • Knee motor control 
  • Landing mechanics 
  • Hip strength 
  • Posterior chain strength (strength in the back of the body from hip to toe)
  • Ankle mobility 
  • Core stability 
  • Proprioception (the ability to recognize and respond to changes in body position)
Many of these elements can be addressed with proper training. With her peers and an in-depth knowledge of available evidence, Penshorn developed a warm-up for youth basketball that tackles some of these issues. The program is designed for pre-practice and can be shortened for pre-game when time may be more limited. It is best to do the warm-up routine as a team before every practice, and every game.Dynamic-Basketball-Warmup_Banded-Squat-Plus-Ball-Dribble_10-13-2020_5553.jpg

The program combines exercises for improving hip strength, ankle mobility, core stability, proprioception and landing mechanics. Some exercises can improve mobility when performed right before playing basketball. These “wake up” the muscles and remind players about proper mechanics as they practice safe landing techniques before game-time jump shots, lay-ups and rebounds. These actions are associated with an increased risk of knee and ankle injuries, even without contacting another player.

Penshorn says, “Performing the exercises with proper form is critical to positively change the risk factors." Therefore, basketball coaches and team captains need to learn how to teach and correct the exercises early in the season. This is especially true when the team does not have access to a trained strength and conditioning coach. The program handout shows pictures as well as tips to correct form with verbal instructions or demonstration. 

Download the PDF.

Learn more about exercises basketball players can do on their own before the team dynamic warm up.

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