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Warm Up Properly

When an athlete is getting ready for a competition, performance training, or practice, they should be engaging in a warm-up that includes the 5 Biomotor abilities.

  1. Flexibility

  2. Coordination

  3. Endurance

  4. Strength

  5. Speed

Flexibility, has long been known by many, to be important in the development and success of athletes. Within the past 5-7 years, coaches and parents are starting to implement and understand the importance of dynamic stretching. Moving and holding stretches for a short amount of time, prepares the nervous system to recruit muscles. Static stretching (which relaxes the nervous system) should be done after a workout or practice to help with flexibility.

Coordination or athleticism in a warm up can help athletes who need to fine tune small movements they don’t always notice in sport. High levels of athleticism include good hand coordination, the ability to separate lower body from upper body movements, balancing on one foot, and reacting.

Endurance describes the ability to maintain speed in the presence of fatigue. Warm ups generally should have a quick pace to them, not necessarily long and drawn out. It depends on the sport. As a rule of thumb a 100 meter sprinter shouldn’t warm up with a 3 mile jog. A warm up can be used to help athletes prepare for what they are about to engage in.

Strength in a warm up is sometimes underutilized. An athlete needs to be able to produce great amounts of force in everything they do. Part of the equation in force production is being able to move your own body-weight. Including push ups, crawling, postural stability, and core bridging will increase an athletes relative body strength.

Speed is a hot commodity in sports. You CAN teach speed. Reinforcing proper running mechanics in the warm up leads to better habits in competition. The warm up is the best time to pick apart speed because the nervous system is fresh and the body is ready to relearn. Finally, don’t forget we do get our speed, or lack of, from mom and dad.


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