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8 links and 5 tips to help your team warm up like champions

Be the Change…

Ok, let’s get something straight. This is for serious athletes who want to improve performance, stay in the game, win championships and have fun. Athletes who continually train to move well get hurt less, tolerate more training frequency and intensity and perform better. Can you afford to take the attitude of “it won’t happen to me” or “I’m a natural athlete, I don’t need to train” if you intend to compete and have a long, healthy athletic career?

You want it? Go get it! Performance, injury prevention and the ability to compete all revolve around training your body to move at its best. This takes effort and discipline, but if you want to do cool stuff you will be rewarded.

We’re teaching people how to live a long and healthy life, minimizing the chance that you may need to STOP doing cool stuff at any point. We love doing cool stuff; we believe fundamentally that people can improve their odds of success through training.

And we want to wish you luck.

You’re in the right place and we want to acknowledge and express our gratitude for your time and efforts in helping yourself, your teammates, coaches and colleagues on this journey. Warmups have changed. It’s time we all became a part of that change.

A Journey To the Ultimate Warmup

Since 2013 we’ve been working with Ultimate Frisbee clubs to help manage injuries, reduce injuries and improve performance. It all started when Travis Dodds (physiotherapist) was treating athletes he had met through working with other sports clubs – swimming and volleyball. These two athletes happened to be playing on Westcoast Wildcard, (then the top team in BC). Learning that they’d be hosting Nationals at UBC and the team having no formal on-field therapy provider, Travis volunteered to come out on each of the 3 days of the tournament to help out both the Open and Women’s’ teams. He met local-legend coaches Mike Fung, Mimi Pan, Jon Hayduk and a host of amazing athletes who would go on to win double-gold over the course of the event, and carry their legacy on through years of ultimate excellence into programs such as UBC’s ultimate club teams, with some of them just graduating as we speak.

From that point on, we’ve been involved in designing warmups and injury prevention programs to help youth, varsity and pro-level ultimate athletes reach their goals.

After some simpler activation routines, we launched the 3-level Movement Champions in 2016 and redeveloped it in 2018 as a collaboration between Lift Performance and Rehabilitation Clinic and our partner gym, Enhanced Performance (represented by strength coach Cian Lanigan). Movement Champions was heavily influenced by the world-renowned injury prevention program FIFA 11+.

This work has led to some of the most fulfilling work of our careers and lasting relationships in the Ultimate community. We’re grateful to once again have the chance to work with Misfit Ultimate Club and want to acknowledge the hard work of Maria Chau in organizing volunteers we’re calling Athlete Health Liaisons, essentially student trainers who will be helping to implement Movement Champions and act as the first point of contact for injured athletes to reach out to. We’d like to also say thanks to contributors on this journey, in addition to the coaches mentioned above, Ted Chu, Mike Aizawa, Daniel Sisson, Florence  Lannes, Aneta Michniak and AHLs and athletes who have helped through their feedback and participation over the years.

Anticipated Benefits of this Program

  • Train proper movement patterns – enhance athletic movement and establish a foundation for sport-specific movement and strength training that will benefit you for years to come
  • Reduce injury risk

The 2019 Warmup

Without further ado, here’s the warmup we’re recommending for organized Ultimate athletes as of 2019:

Strength Plyos and Balance

  • Movement Champions Program – performed in its entirety; only progress within the levels if you can perform the exercises properly (at some point, on a given team, athletes will be performing the exercises at different levels, when some progress and others aren’t ready yet)
  • Add one more exercise, Lateral hops in this section

Field Dynamics (from FIFA 11+)

Do 2 rounds. Place cones 5 meters apart in 2 rows. Full reference on field set-up here and full reference on FIFA 11+ here

Tips to Get it Right and Make Progress

  1. Do it before every practice; use Level 1 before every game, even if you’ve progressed to Level 3 in training
  2. Focus on efficiency – movement champions should take 11 minutes; transitions between exercises should take 3-5 seconds
  3. Recognize and congratulate yourself and those around you for the efforts you’re putting in – work hard and have fun!
  4. Remember after practice, at the end of your day and so on, breathe deeply; rest well; eat well; take care of yourself!
  5. If you don’t have a strength training program in the gym, try running through this 2 more times at the end of your practices, or when you get home; a frequency of 3 circuits, 2-3 times a week is a great way to build strength and move up through the levels
Lift clinicians Travis Dodds (physiotherapist), Mike Fung (massage therapist), Daniel Sisson (chiropractor). Our goal is to help you perform better and reduce the risk of injury. Good luck!

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