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Ultimate Frisbee Warm Up: Prevent Injury and Boost Performance on the Field

Ultimate summer season is around the corner and here at Lift, we want to make sure you step onto the field feeling prepared and ready to perform at your best!

At Lift Clinic, we have the pleasure of working with many amazing ultimate athletes in both a performance and rehabilitation setting. As a part of our exciting partnership with Misfit Ultimate this summer, our team of strength coaches and physiotherapists have created a warm up program that will help you prevent injury and boost performance on the field. Read on to find out more!

Why is a proper warm-up important?

Check out our IG video for a sneak peak into what an Ideal Ultimate Warm up should look like!

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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During your time as an athlete, you have already participated in a number of warm ups, but have you ever wondered why it’s important? 

Warming up is crucial in determining your performance on the field for a number of reasons including…

  1. Performance enhancement – performing a warm up can help you focus mentally on the training session ahead as well as prepare your body for what’s coming physically, ultimately enhancing your performance on the field.
  2. Injury mitigation – in ultimate, the most common injuries usually involve the ankle, knee, hip and shoulder joints. There is also a risk of concussion injuries within this sport. Keeping this in mind, your warmup should address these joints and the surrounding musculature specifically.
  3. Mobility – the ability to move through a joint’s full range of motion with intent and control. This is different from static stretching or pure flexibility. The focus of mobility should be to gain control of moving through fundamental movement patterns.

What are the main components of a warm-up?

There are several different warmup protocols that can be used, the most important one being the RAMP protocol. The components that make up this basic framework are raise, activate, mobilise and potentiate (RAMP). Let’s break it down:

Within this component of the warmup, the goal is to raise your body temperature, heart rate as well as circulation. The raise component of the warmup should take 3-4 minutes.

Within this component of the warmup, the goal is to activate the muscle groups and movement patterns of interest. For ultimate athletes there should be a focus on the ankle, knee, hip and shoulder joints including the surrounding musculature, as well as the core muscles – specifically those used in rotation. The activate component of the warmup should take 3-4 minutes.

Within this component of the warmup, the goal is to mobilise the joints and movement patterns of interest that are specific to the activity you are about to partake in. For ultimate athletes there should be a focus on the ankle, knee, hip and shoulder joints as well as rotation through the torso. The mobilise component of the warmup should take 3-4 minutes.

This part of the warmup should represent movements that are most specific to what you do on the field during a practice or game. For you ultimate athletes, it’s a good idea to include sprints and change of direction exercises using reaction drills. Coaches, this is where you can throw in some stimulating games specific to the game of ultimate to prepare your athletes for a practice or game. The potentiate component of the warmup should take 3-4 minutes.

What Should I do for a Warm-up?

Lift has partnered with a couple of our ultimate athletes to provide you with a video, that reviews a full warmup made especially for ultimate athletes! Going through this warmup yourself should take around 15 minutes!

Additionally, below you can find a few examples of exercises that you can include in your warmups, broken down into the four components of a general warmup…

RAISE: Easy skips, side shuffles, high knees, bumkicks, carioca, etc.

ACTIVATEWalking lunges, inchworms, rotating side plank, partner palloff press, SL RDL, lateral lunges, bear crawls, ankle pops, jumps etc.

MOBILISE: Deep squat to hamstring stretch, downward dog to pigeon pose which is the world’s greatest stretch, and hip flexor to hamstring stretch. 

POTENTIATE: A-marches, A-skips, sprints, decelerations, change of direction. 

Additional tips:

  1. Your warmup should begin more general and at a lower intensity in the beginning and move towards more sport-specific activities while gaining in intensity. 
  2. A full warmup will usually last about 12-20min.
  3. Make sure you have all of the equipment you need to complete your warmup. This may include cones, bands, light weights, etc.
  4. Add ultimate specific drills to the end of your RAMP warmup before heading into your training session or competition.
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