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by Carl Brewer last modified 2011-05-30 01:29

Long warmups never sit well with me

For a long time I've been uneasy about the warmup generally recommended for sprint events.  Tradition states that the shorter the race, the longer the warmup. I've seen some VERY silly long warmups, one particular one at the Oceanias last year, this one bloke must have done a 4 hour warmup for a kilo, every time I walked by, he was on the rollers, or doing efforts on the track or an ergo etc ... by the time he started, he was knackered ... but OCD sillyness aside, the warmup for a sprint event is one that I think we can optimise and there's much room for variation and experimentation.  Some recent research from the University of Calgary cropped up this week that is of interest.

I don't have access to the published paper yet, so can't comment on the method or the quality of the research, so take this as unqualified conjecture from a reading of the abstract :

Shorter, less intense warmups seem to be producing better performances in sprint events.

This makes intuitive sense to me.  I don't really buy into the whole "you need a big warmup to prime the aerobic system", yes, you need to get your muscles and joints warm and some activation to turn on your nerves, but how much?  I think there's a lot of room here for individual sprinters to experiment with their warmups prior to competition, I don't think one size fits all here, not one bit.  Watching elite sprinters warm up, they all do it differently, and many of them do not do very much at all.




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