TAG WARM UP EXERCISES
Warming up before playing helps your body prepare the muscles and mind for both physical and mental exercise and reduces the chance of injury. The aim is to increase heart rate and circulation of blood flow to muscles gradually and put the body through the range of movements you will perform during the game.
What Constitutes a Good Tag Warm Up?
A good Tag warm up should start at a low level of intensity and gradually increase your muscle temperature and your heart rate.
This should be followed by a portion where movement mimics what will happen during a Tag match, such as shuffling, side stepping, back pedalling, accelerating etc. This section of the warm up should include some work at the intensities expected during the actual game.
The last part of a good tag rugby warm up is stretching of the important muscles for 5 seconds.
The length of a warm up session will vary, depending on your fitness but generally you should allow at least 15 minutes. Your warm up should be completed within 10 to 15 minutes of your expected match start time.
Note: If you have an injury, you should seek advice from your doctor or chartered physio before attempting the following warm up routine or before returning to play Tag.
- General Exercise
- Specific Tag Exercises
- Dynamic Flexibility
- Tag Rugby Specific Activities
- Cool Down at End of Game
1. General Exercise
Start your warm up with some light jogging, back pedalling and shuffling from side to side, all of which will increase your heart rate and muscle temperature. This phase should last about 5 minutes and should increase body temperature to the point of sweating.
2. Specific Tag Exercises
Now you need to concentrate on the movements you will do while playing the game. Here are a few examples:
3. Dynamic Stretching
Here we stretch the important muscles we use when playing Tag. Move into the positions shown in the photos, according to your individual range of motion. Hold each stretch for approximately 5 seconds.
Lunge and Reach
4. Tag Specific Drills
Finally you should complete some short specific drills that will be performed during a tag match. While it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, you should do it at the pace and intensity expected during the game. Useful drills are running and passing the ball and small attack versus defence games.
Remember that your warm up should match your fitness level and you should finish feeling energised and ready for sport, not exhausted!
Cool Down Afterwards
After the match, you should do a warm down. Ideally this will involve a light jog, followed by a set of the same stretches mentioned above. This will:
- Allow your heart rate to reduce and breathing to return to normal.
- Prepare your muscles for the next exercise session, enabling you to compete again at the same level within a short period of time (important if playing in a tag blitz).
- Remove waste products, such as lactic acid, from your muscles.
- Reduce the post exercise tendency of muscle spasm.
- Decrease the amount of muscle soreness/stiffness experienced.