How to warm-up the body for sprinting activities
By Coach Dixon
I believe the warm-up should take about 20 – 30 minutes to raise the core temperature and get your muscles ready for sprinting. The warm-ups are done from low intensity to high intensity with each segment and rep. The intensity of the workout scheduled for the day will determine what dynamic warm-up drills we will do. Also, if the athlete continues to do the same drills over and over the body will adopt and there’s no growth for the Central Nervous System (CNS). The CNS is also a critical component that needs to be warmed up and usually forgotten about and not just in the warm-ups but in the entire workout/practice (another article).
For the most part I stick with a 4.2.2 or later in the season a 6.3.3 followed by the dynamic warm-up drills. For myself and the athletes I coach I do not promote static stretching until after you’ve completed the whole warm-up routine. I’m not totally against static stretching however it should not be done when the muscles are cold. I believe static stretching places microscopic tears in the muscle fibers which can thus cause serious problems later (of course, I could go into more detail on this topic but not today). In addition, you’re stretching the muscles in ways that you’re not going to use them. Even a hurdler will not have his or her leg fully extended when going over hurdles. Their knee is slightly bent.
Also, you increase the chances of diminishing your power output with static stretching. This is because you’ve stretched out the elasticity (Stretch Shorting Cycle or SSCs). I feel that static stretching does have its place however, it should be performed only if necessary and after your “Warm-up routine” or after the workout. Now, if you’re a hurdler, high jumper, etc… or need the extra stretching because you’re just genetically very tight it’s ok to do static stretching but again after your warm-up runs and dynamic warm-up drills and only in moderation.
To read the rest of this article, check out the Spring 2014 issue in High School Illustrated – South Orange County for iPad, completely free on the App Store.