Proper Warm Up for Sprinting

You might be asking yourself why is it essential to warm up for sprinting?

Before we get to the warming-up exercises it's important for you to know why you're supposed to perform them. Here are one of the most important reasons why:

Reason #1: Injury prevention

A long-held belief is that when we're sprinting our tight muscles are getting stretched rapidly - which when performed has a higher chance to tear the muscle compared to when we've previously warmed up our muscles.

Reason #2: Flexibility

Stretching regularly will drastically make your sprinting experience a whole lot easier. Not only that it'll be easier for you, but also you'll have an increased range of motion.

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Reason #3: Warm up for sprinting to improve your performance

When stretching, we are improving our circulation, range of motion and muscle flexibility. And with all of that added-up, we are making it easier for our muscles to repeatedly flex and contract. Which of course makes our running experience faster, easier and better.

How to properly warm up for sprinting?

Generally, there are no strict rules on how to warm up for sprinting. But however, a must-do thing is any light activity which will increase the blood flow into your muscles.

Phase #1: Jogging

As you probably know, sprinting is an explosive exercise which requires all of our muscles to activate at once in order to achieve the target.

And to make this activity less stressful for our muscles we must warp up with similar activity. It causes less tension in our muscles while we're doing the same movement ( jogging ).

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How much do I need to jog before a sprint?

The goal of jogging before a sprint isn't to exhaust your muscles.

So a short, not intense and slow running of 100 meters ( 320 foot ) should be just enough. After you're done with this, you'll be prepared for the second phase of the warm up for sprinting routine.

Phase #2: Stretches

There is a countless amount of stretches for each muscle group that you can do. But in today's article, we'll mainly focus on the ones that will benefit you the most for sprinting.

The one and the most important muscle group that you must stretch are your legs. That's the cause of the fact that our legs are doing all of the hard work in the movement. Or to be more exact, we're going to focus mostly on stretching our calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

Stretch #1: Forward Lunges

The forward lunge is a must-do stretch for a proper warm up for sprinting.

It involves multiple muscles, such as quads, glutes, hamstrings,  adductors and the outer thighs.

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How to do it properly?

  • Stand tall in a split stance with your right foot forward and left foot behind and your hands on your waist. Bend your knee into a 90-degree angle until the left knee is almost touching the floor.
  • Place both of your hands on your right knee and slightly push. Move your hips forward until you feel the stretch from the front of your hip.
  • Hold this position for about half a minute and then repeat the same thing with your other leg.

Stretch #2: Sitting Toe Reach

This stretch is very useful to do before sprinting. It's involving your calves, hamstrings and lower back.

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How to do it properly?

  • Sit down on the floor/mat with your legs fully extended in front of you and your back straight.
  • Start extending your hands with the palms open until you touch your toes. If you're unable to reach them - just go as far as you can and stay in that position.
  • Hold this position for about 20 seconds.

Stretch #3: Lateral Lunge

The lateral lung will help you in stretching your gluteus maximus ( butt ) muscle, hamstrings, quadriceps and the adductors.

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How to do it?

  • Stand tall with your feet separated at about twice of your shoulder width.
  • Slowly shift your body-weight on one of your legs and push your hips back as you lower your body as far as possible.
  • While doing all that try keeping your other leg straight and your foot flat on the floor.