by Audrey Wostal, AT

Field hockey is mainly a women’s sport and is very popular in the U.S. and Canada, but it wasn’t always that way. Did you know that Field Hockey was once a men’s only sport played overseas in England, Scotland, France, and the Netherlands? Field Hockey is one of the oldest, most popular sports in the world, with roots dating back to the middle ages. It’s so popular that it is currently played by over 3,000,000 people spread over 100 countries!

Unfortunately, with an increase in the popularity of sports always comes an increase in injury. Between 2004 and 2009 alone, there were over 10,000 injuries and 23.5% of those injuries were from muscle strains.

The physical demands field hockey places on the body are very high and any player would require high endurance, strength, and speed. For any sport, it is crucial that all players undergo a proper warm up before beginning to play, whether it be for practice or a game.  Field Hockey players can run over 5 miles during a game, that alone can put a lot of strain on your muscles. Adding all the other demands of the sport can put additional stressors on your body, so it’s important that players complete a proper warm up before competing in any gameplay.

A dynamic warm-up, where you are moving rather than just stretching, has been shown to be the best option before a competition. A dynamic warm-up gets your blood flowing, warms up muscles and tendons, increases body temperature gradually, and enhances movement prior to competition.

Follow this dynamic warm-up to get your team ready for a game and keep them safe on the field.

Download the full workout here

Dynamic Warm-Up

Every warm-up should start with a light jog. Grab your team and jog around the field. After this, your team should complete 25 jumping jacks and 25 squats to get your body moving properly.

Before beginning the rest of your warm up, you should set up some workout boundaries. You will want to create a starting line, and a finish line about 15 yards out, these will be the lines you follow out and back for each of your stretches.

During your light jog you probably had an easy stride, now you want to kick it up a notch. Focusing on lengthening your stride, just like you would while jumping over puddles. Be sure to keep your torso tall and relaxed. Complete the striders for 15 yards out and 15 yards back.
Knee to Chest
Bring one knee to your chest, grab it with your hands and hug it, bringing your knee as high and tight as you can. Hold for a second and release.  Take a step forward and repeat with your other knee. Complete for 15 yards out.
Piriformis Leg Lift
Lift one leg so the toes and the knee form a horizontal line, lift from the shin straight up, hold for a second and release. Take a step and repeat with your other leg. Complete for 15 yards back.
From a standing position, bend forward so your hands can slowly walk out to a plank position. Slowly walk your feet towards your hands as much as you can while keeping your legs straight. Stand up and repeat. Complete for 15 yards out.
High Kicks
Start with your hands over your head.  While pointing the toes and keeping the knees straight, kick as high up as possible while bringing hands down and arms straight out. Putting your hands out will help you balance. Take a step and repeat with the other leg. Complete for 15 yards back.
High Knees
With both arms by your side, lift one knee up towards your chest as high as you can. Alternate legs as you move forward. Make sure you are not arching or rounding your back during this movement and keep your lower abdominal muscles engaged. Complete for 15 yards out.
Butt Kickers
Start by taking a step forward and bending the opposite leg attempting to touch your glute with your heel. Alternate legs as you walk. Make sure to keep your knee back when you bend it, try not to flex your hip, and stay upright, trying not to lean forward. Complete for 15 yards back.
Walking Lunges
Begin in a standing position with feet hip-width apart. Step forward with on leg and lower your hips until your knee is at 90 degrees. Make sure to keep your front knee behind your toes. Keep an upright posture as you push through your heel and push yourself up and forward. Immediately bring your back foot forward without touching the ground. Take a step forward and repeat the same movement with the other leg. Complete for 15 yards out.
Lunges with a twist
When fully lunged, rotate your upper body to the same side you are lunging, keeping your feet in place. When fully rotated, turn back so you are facing forward and return to the starting position.  Take a step and repeat with your other leg. Complete for 15 yards back.
Lateral Lunges
Facing sideways, step sideways with your foot landing wider than shoulder-width apart. Sink your hips like you are going to sit on a chair, go down as low as possible and until 90 degrees at the knee. Stand back up, step forward and repeat facing with the other leg forward. Complete for 15 yards out.
Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees and hips slightly bent. Bring hands up in front of your chest. Begin exercise by moving your right foot to the right and following with your left in a quick manner, keeping your chest up and abdominals tight as you move. Repeat these steps for 15 yards back.


Drill and picture from

Set Up: 

You will need either sticks or hurdles and a set of cones for this drill. Set up each station with enough room apart, that players will not bump into each other. Place each hurdle or cone about 1 yard apart to give the players enough room to complete this warm up.

Check out a video on how to complete this dynamic drill and continue reading for more tips. 

Station 1: Players will run in and out of the hurdles.

Station 2: Players will jump over the hurdles. Making sure to keep their feet together, they will move from the right side of the stick to the left, and then in the other direction.

Station 3: Run in and out of the cones, bending down to touch the inside of each cone with your hand.

Station 4: Hop on one foot between each set of cones.

Station 5:  Players should run as fast as they can over each hurdle

Complete each drill  4-5 times.

Audrey Wostal, AT has been working at Performance since 2017 and has a clinical expertise in emergency care, injury prevention, and treatment of athletic injuries in high school and college athletes. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from Castleton University in 2016 and is working toward a Master’s of Science degree with a dual concentration in Rehabilitation Sciences and Sport Psychology. Audrey is a board-certified athletic trainer, NASE Certified Speed Specialist, and a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.