It is May, which means high school track and field is reaching its peak! The diverse nature of track and field makes the warm-up crucial for success. Over the course of a meet, an athlete may need to warm up and cool down as many as 4 times! This can be complicated further if the athlete has events that are close together. While a comprehensive and thorough warm-up is preferred, doing something is definitely better than nothing. Today we are covering the bare bones minimum track and field warm-up that requires minimal time and energy for those unique situations that only track and field provides!
If you have been following along with our previous posts, you will know that we are big fans of foam rollers. A time crunch is when foam rollers really start to shine! All track and field events could benefit from a quick (~60 second) foam rolling of the hips.
Once you have foam rolled your hips, we will take advantage of the foam rolling with a targeted mobility drill. A quick and easy mobility drill for the hips is the Hip 90/90 drill. This drill allows us to work the hips through internal and external rotation, as well as working on some flexion. By driving your knees into the ground at either end position, we can also work some hip extension!
Track and field events do not only challenge the hips, so it is important to add in a mobility drill that targets just the hips. A lunge with rotation is a great option for building on the hip work we have already done, while incorporating the rest of the body. Both forward and reverse lunges can work here, and a mixture of both allows you to get the benefits of both! The rotational component should be smooth and controlled with the intention of working into the end ranges of motion of the rotation.
Up to this point, our warm up has been slow and controlled. Now it is time to add in some speed to really prime your body for performance! One of our favorites is the squat jump, with a particular emphasis on achieving triple extension. Triple extension refers to extending the ankle joint, the knee joint, and the hip joint. Running, jumping, and throwing activities are rooted in triple extension at their core, making the squat jump a quick and easy way to generally replicate those movements anywhere, at any time.
We would like to emphasize that a complete and thorough warm up is preferable to what we have put together here. This warm up is meant to serve as a way to serve as a “better than nothing” alternative for those unique situations where the complete warm up may not be feasible. The length of this warm up also makes it easy to add in another exercise or two more specific to the athletes event.
If you or someone you know is dealing with a track and field injury, we can help! Call our office or schedule online today!