What you need
Tennis ball or equivalent
Wall or partner
Bosu ball (optional)
Why warm up?
Warming up is an essential part of an effective workout, but its importance is often overlooked. A warm up is designed to prepare your body for the rigors of exercise. It should gradually increase your heart rate, increasing blood flow to your muscles and loosening joints. Imagine a blob or blue tack. If you pull it apart straight away it will break. Warm it up in your hands first and it’ll stretch. The same basic principle works here. Warm your muscles up properly before engaging in rigorous activity and they will remain stronger and the risk of injury reduced.
Depending on the activity a warm up can last anywhere between 10 minutes to half an hour.
Why play catch?
Throwing and catching is a great way to warm up.
- It’s fun. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; if it’s fun you’re more likely to do it.
- It engages the whole body in mobility work through rotation, bending and stretching. Throwing and catching requires the body to go through a full range of motion without putting unnecessary or undue strain on the body.
- It requires the core to be fully engaged and activated naturally, preparing your body for exercise through natural movements.
- Improves hand eye coordination.
- Allows for steady progression to more difficult body placements and can incorporate a whole range of progressive exercises – e.g squats, twisting lunges, jumping.
A bosu ball is basically just a balancing device to help improve stability in muscles, increase core strength and proprioception. In this case it’s also a great way to make throwing and catching more challenging.