One of the most popular sporting activities in London is Netball. It is a fantastic way to socialise while enjoying exercise, and it is available to all individuals whether starting as a beginner or with years of experience. I have put together the below basic Netball warm up for those of you trying your hand at London Netball leagues this Summer.
Take a warm-up jog! Not too far or strenuous, 3-5 laps around the netball court. Jogging awakens the body and steadily raises the heart rate prepping the body for vigorous exercise.
Jogging also helps the body to become more limber and increases the effectiveness of stretching. Have a think which is easier…. bending frozen or room temperature dough?
Stretching is vital to performance and injury prevention. Stretching properly helps to prevent tearing your muscles, while increasing your range of movement. For netball there are a few key muscle groups.
Legs: Running around is a major aspect of netball. It is crucial that your legs are properly stretched.
- From a standing position, bend at the waist and reach down towards toes. Hold for 20 seconds.
- Spread legs while standing, slightly farther than shoulder width, and spend 20 seconds reaching to your left toes, then swap sides and spend 20 more seconds reaching to your right toes. After these sets, drop hands straight down and reach back as far as possible. Hold for 20 seconds.
- While seated place legs together and reach to grab toes. Pull up on toes if possible for 10 seconds, and then lay flat for 10 seconds. Try to not let legs bend.
- Take right leg and tuck it behind you and reach for your toe in front for 10 seconds, and then reach back for 10 seconds. Switch and repeat with left leg.
- (Stretches both leg and back) While sitting, leave left leg extended and cross right leg over top, while keeping knee up. Take left arm and cross body effectively turning your body to the right side hold for 10 seconds and then repeat on other side.
- Squat down to the balls of your feet with legs spread apart. Place arms just in front of you on the ground. Lean slightly forward with your elbows to the inside of your knees and hold for 20 seconds. This will stretch out your groin area.
- Can either place toes on a wall or fence at an upward angle for 20 seconds for each calf separately, or find a small ledge and drop your heel for 20seconds each. After completion, point each toe for 5-10 seconds.
Upper Body and Arms. Netball has a high degree of arm involvement and needed mobility, making it necessary to stretch your arms properly.
- From a standing position, lean to your left side while extending your right arm, and hold for 20 seconds. After 20 seconds switch and repeat with your right side.
- While lying on the ground, curl knees into chest and hold for 10 seconds.
- To stretch arms take left arm and drop it behind your head and use right arm to gently pull on left elbow for 15 seconds. Repeat the same process with your right arm.
- Take left arm in front of body and cross it across your chest. Use right arm to pull left in at the elbow. Hold for 10 seconds. Duplicate process with your right arm.
- Interweave fingers and extend arms while keeping palms facing outwards for 10 seconds.
- Let your head hang and slowly move it side to side for 15 seconds.
3. Get moving again!:
Once stretched out you should feel more limber, and it is important to maintain this feeling by staying active and keeping muscles warm.
- Do 25 star jumps to help keep muscles warm.
- Face one of the sidelines and do side shuffle to the half court line while waving arms. This drill keeps you warm while practicing defensive maneuvers.
4. Get the team involved!
Netball is a team sport after all. Team interaction is necessary for proper function.
- Have the team members practice passing around a ball, while calling out the name of whom they are passing to. First begin with a standard bounce pass, and then move to chest passes. Move back to bounce passes using only a single arm alternating which arm is in use. Also do this for chest passes.
- Have the Goal Attacker(s) and the Goal Scorer(s) take warm up shots. First from a straight on, then moving to different sides and depths. Have another team member simulate game play passing to the shooters while they are moving around and at different angles.
Take a moment before the game or practice begins to go over strategy and mentally prepare yourselves. Remember to Have FUN! Though the sport is competitive, remember that you are there for the enjoyment of the sport, no mater the outcome!
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