Kansas Softball's Warm-Up Routine

Prevent injuries with this softball warm-up routine from the Kansas Jayhawks.

Softball Warm Ups

Coming off their first-ever Big 12 Championship and second consecutive trip to the NCAA Regionals, the Kansas Jayhawks are making monumental strides in taking their softball program to the next level.

According to Molly McKinnon, the team's strength and conditioning coach, this recent success could not have been achieved without staying healthy and flexible. "Softball is about anticipating the next play, and sometimes athletes don't make an explosive reaction to the ball for two or more innings," McKinnon says. "Therefore, we incorporate quad and hamstring flexibility into our warm-ups so the athletes stay healthy and avoid potential knee injuries."

Try McKinnon's progression softball warm-up, which ignites the Jayhawks' engines before practice and lifting sessions throughout the entire season. Cover 10 yards with each stretch. Progress from walking to skipping, and finally running.

Progression Softball Warm-up

Sets/Rest: 3/30 seconds

Heel to Hammy

Walking

• Grab right ankle with right hand and pull up
• While left leg supports you, rise onto ball of foot; hold for two seconds
• Moving forward, release right leg and perform on opposite leg

Skip

• Same movement as above, but perform skipping
• Instead of grabbing ankle, just briefly tap hand to ankle

Run

• Same movements as above, but perform running
• Do not use hands at all

Benefit: Stretching the quad reduces forward-pulling force on your shin and thighbone.
Coaching Point: Keep your hips square over the ground and make sure your knee stays directly under your hip.

Knee to Chest

Walk

• As you begin walking, bring right knee to chest and touch heel to hamstring
• While left leg supports you, rise onto ball of foot; hold for two seconds
• Perform on opposite leg as you move in continuous fashion

Skip

• Same movement as above, but perform skipping instead of walking
• Hold will be quicker

Run

• Same movements as above, but perform running

Benefit: You overemphasize the range of motion for movements you typically perform in games and practices—like walking or running.
Coaching Point: Keep your foot dorsiflexed while you focus on stretching your glute.

Toy Soldier

Walking

• As you begin walking, fully extend right leg with slight angle towards opposite hand
• Extend opposite arm and touch toes
• Bring leg down in continuous motion and perform with opposite leg

Skipping

• Same movement as above, but perform skipping instead of walking

Running

• Fully extend leg and kick directly forward
• Keep ankle loaded so that when foot strikes, your reaction time is quicker
• Perform as many reps as possible over 10 yards

Benefit: Warms up your glutes and hamstrings
Coaching Point: To get a better range of motion, rise onto the ball of the foot of your supporting leg. Also, your kicking leg should have a little crossover so that you can touch your toes with your opposite hand. Make sure you don't do this in the running form, however.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: WARM-UP | SOFTBALL | STRETCHING | CHEST | RUNNING | COACH | RANGE OF MOTION