Wednesday, June 19, 2024

How you can nail an ideal warm-up

Coach John Shepherd seems at excellent the ultimate moments earlier than a coaching session or competitors

An athlete’s warm-up is important – it ought to be progressive and designed to help efficiency through the subsequent exercise. Actually, it’s finest to view the warm-up as an integral a part of the exercise.

RAMP it up

Heat-ups ought to observe what’s referred to as the RAMP protocol:

Elevate: Physique temperature.

Activate: Carry out some mild actions to get thoughts and muscle tissues in gear.

Mobilise: Proceed with sooner, extra particular, actions which immediately. put together the physique for what’s to observe.

Potentiate: Step actions up a gear in order that they stimulate the central nervous system to extend energy outputs and facilitate dynamic motion.

I’m shocked by the variety of athletes who simply flip up at a observe and don’t increase their physique temperature by doing a lap or two earlier than activating and mobilising.

Muscular tissues are malleable and reply finest with warmth in them. Certainly, if you’re late for a contest and must warm-up rapidly then some jogging, quick working and dash drills will get you prepared comparatively safely (however don’t be late within the first place!).

Distance runners might even see a two-mile sluggish run as a warm-up. Sure, that may work but when they went straight into some quick intervals then there’s the danger of damage as they may have neither labored their muscle tissues over a much bigger vary of motion, nor at pace – particularly they won’t have mobilised or potentiated. Regardless of the occasion, it’s higher to observe the RAMP methodology.

Pole vaulters heat up in Eugene (Getty)


In terms of stretching – the Activate and Mobilise elements of the RAMP methodology ­– it’s finest that any static stretches are usually not held for longer than 10-20 seconds. Ideas have modified a little bit and analysis signifies that stretches of this size mustn’t hamper subsequent dynamic exercise. Certainly, athletes who’ve had a protracted day at work might have time to work out stiff backs and hips which might be attributable to long-term desk work.

Nevertheless, it’s best to make use of extra lively stretches, comparable to arm swings, seated legs cycles and inclined side-side to backbone mobilisations. These can progress to extra particular actions comparable to dash posture drills (the place the athlete stands on one leg with the opposite thigh elevated and held parallel to the bottom).

From this place legs and arms might be moved as if working. Velocity can be progressed and in doing so hamstrings, for instance, will carry out eccentric motion (muscle lengthening) which is not going to solely put together the athlete for sprinting but additionally pre-condition – that’s, particularly strengthen to fight damage. It is a additional advantage of a effectively thought out warm-up.

Potentiation magic

Potentiation is maybe the important thing advantage of following a RAMP sequence warm-up. That is the half when the athlete can nearly “trick” their physique into elevated efficiency. Merely put, performing sure actions at particular speeds, which interact muscle tissues and actions usually in a approach associated to the occasion the athlete goes to carry out in, will end in enhanced efficiency.

Examples? A protracted jumper might carry out take-off drills at pace or a sprinter fast leg pace drills.

Much less particularly, leap squats can set off a potentiated response. That is one motive why sprinters typically carry out a tuck leap when going into their blocks.

Potentiation may even contain weights or using bands. On the extra superior degree throwers could carry out some heavy weights workouts (squats, cleans) and throws with their implement or derivatives (jav-balls, for instance) to realize some common and particular potentiation respectively, earlier than they go into the competitors setting to carry out some “correct” throws.

After all, these potentiation inclusions want pre-planning, with thought given to what services and entry the competitors venue provides.


The perfect warm-ups additionally must replicate and reply to the setting. On the current World Championships, for instance, the excessive temperatures resulted in cooling methods being employed. Ice vests and cooling therapies in warm-up can cut back the rise of the physique’s core temperature and subsequently protect vitality. Hydration and diet are additionally inclusions which ought to be factored into warm-ups.


If you wish to maximise efficiency, then don’t pay quick shrift to the warm-up. Craft completely different ones which relate to the specifics of the session that can observe and account for the wants of the occasion, your athlete and the setting.

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