How to Properly Design a Dynamic Warm up…

Seems like I’ve been gone for a minute, but I’m back now…had to pack up and move to Georgia (more on that later), but for now let’s get to it with this warm up…
 
With the advancement in training methodologies over the past 20 years, it is in the best interest of coaches, athletes and parents to stay up to date on the latest and most recent methods and theories of training especially for sports that are deeply rooted in speed, strength and power. These sports have to stay up to date on the scientific as well as the actual training practices which consist of having a working knowledge of chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology and biomechanics (Remember, I didn’t say you needed a four year degree to understand or know these, I just said all you need is the desire to educate yourself and having a working knowledge of these in the sport you desire to be an expert in). Neglecting to study these areas can result in many athletes not being able to reach their full potential in the sport they desire.
 
Since we are talking about training methodologies we have to start somewhere and there’s no better or simpler place to start than the warm up. As we research the years of how warm ups were structured and executed we find that the warm ups of the past are no longer valid in helping the athlete reach a state of maximum readiness especially for speed and power athletes. The old warm up, commonly referred to as a “static warm up”, consisted of jogging anywhere from 2 to 4 laps, static stretching and a few drills! That’s about it for that warm up and the athletes was expected to be ready to go after that!
 
However, once we learned how the chemistry of muscles worked we started to move towards a “movement” warm up that became known as the “dynamic” warm up. This warm up involves everything from muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints and puts everything through its full range of motion thus preparing the athlete for speed and power workouts.
 
The design of a dynamic warm up isn’t really hard, but it should be well thought out and supervised. The coach and athlete must know what is being accomplished with this warm up and why. Being armed with this knowledge the coach can then design an appropriate warm up for speed and power days.
 
 The simplest way to design a dynamic warm up is to remember to go from low intensity movements to high intensity movements (Yes! It really is as simple as that). A sample dynamic warm up that I have designed for my sprinters on our speed days goes as follows:
 
SPRINTERS WARM UP
 
PART 1: IN FLATS
 
3X100M TURNAROUNDS AT TALK PACE
 
  1. 2X400M (2 LAPS) OF BUILD UP 50M FOLLOWED BY 50M WALK.  DURING THE WALK, DO 10 DYNAMIC WARM UP JUMPS (BOUNDS, CARIOCA, ANKLE HOPES, FRONT LUNGES, C-SKIPS, SIDE LUNGES, BACKWARD RUNS, STAR JUMPS, SLIDE SHUFFLE, MOGUL JUMPS).
 
  1. HIP MOBILITY (LEG SWINGS, EXTENSORS, PEDASTALS, 10X EACH LEG)
 
3X100M, 50% EFFORT FOCUSING ON STAYING TALL, TIGHT ABS
 
  1. SPEED DRILLS EVERY 10M FOR 100M (A SKIP, B SKIP, SIDE SKIP W/ARM SWINGS TURNING AROUND EVERY 10M, C SKIP, ANKLING, STRAIGHT LEG BOUND)
 
3X100M, 75%, FOCUSING ON STAYING TALL, STEPPING OVER THE OPPOSITE KNEE
 
  1. 2-3X30M SPRINT EXERCISES (FAST LEG A RUN, FAST LEG B RUN, C             
SKIPS, A HOLD/R/L/BOTH LEGS)
 
PART 2:  IN SPIKES
 
  1. MODEL RUNNING, 2X30M EACH (L-3 STEP FAST A, R-3 STEP FAST A, 2 STEP FAST A, L/R SINGLE LEG FAST A FOR 20M)
 
3 X FALLING STARTS IN SPIKES FOR 20M (POWER OFF THE LINE, PUNCHING THE KNEES FORWARD)
2-3 X 3 POINT STARTS OR BLOCKS X 30-40M
 
PART 3:  FOR HURDLERS ONLY, IN SPIKES AND USING BLOCKS
 
  1. 3-4 X 4-5 HURDLES WITH 5 STRIDES, 11.5M – 12M BETWEEN HURDLES FOR WOMEN; 12.5M – 13M FOR MEN
 
  1. 3-4 X 2-3 HURDLES WITH 3 STRIDES BETWEEN HURDLES
 
  1. 2 X 2 HURDLES USING BLOCKS, 300/400 HURDLERS DO 2 X 2-3 HURDLES FROM BLOCKS ON THE CURVE
 
  1. 15-20 MINUTES REST BEFORE RACE
 
Notice how the entire sequence of exercises go from very low intensity to very high intensity, mimicking competition settings and effort. This is important to mimic the intensity of the competition within these exercises as to prepare the athlete for the demands of the sport. This warm up, in particular, was inspired by Loren Seagrave, and a leading expert in the field of biomechanics.   
 
I hope this sample and analysis helps you in your search for knowledge about modern day training theories and gives you a road map on where to begin. Stay tuned as I will continue to post more speed and power analysis and workout strategies.
 
Continue in knowledge my friends!
 
Charone
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