The Need for Speed… The Warm Up – Part 2

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, CSCS, NASM, PES, FMS)

need-for-speed-2-top-joint

Today we are going to cover Part 2 of Need for Speed (for Part 1 click here).  A thorough warm up is what sets the athlete up for a productive training session or game. Today we’ll go over the steps involved in the warm up and movement prep protocol that all of our athletes at RPP go through at the beginning of every speed session. So, without further ado, here we go…

Being explosive and running (and stopping) quickly can be very taxing on not only the muscles and joints, but the central nervous system as well.  It is imperative to perform a proper warm up in order to:

  • Reduce muscle knotting (myofascial) for greater movement, nerve firing, and muscle action
  • Improve neurological firing (proprioception or “awareness”)
  • Improve movement quality before training by increasing the range of motion of muscle and joints
  • Increase blood flow and body temperature and increase muscle and joint function, and
  • Prepare the body to move more intensely in the coming exercises

Soft Tissue Work (foam rolling)

At RPP each athlete is taught how to use a foam roller to hit trigger points and help lessen or eliminate knots in the muscles. It also helps break up the soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue in the area. You can get many of the benefits of stretching without the lengthening of the muscle which may not always be the best thing for certain athletes. Recommended areas are calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, Q.L. and lats. Please click here to read more on this topic.

Activation

Next is activating the neuromuscular system. We do our activation work immediately following the Soft Tissue Work (foam rolling). This helps “turn on” various muscle groups so that they’re ready to produce force when called upon. Some of these muscles include the glutes, traps and serratus. Here are a couple of great ones.

(1-Leg Glute Bridge)

(Band Res. Wall Slides)

Mobility

Now we want to take the muscles through a full range of motion. When dealing with different groups of athletes at a time, we try to hit all the major areas. This means optimizing ankle, hip and t-spine mobility to name a few. All athletes have varying ranges of motion, some better than others so please be aware of that when finding your end range. Here are two examples that work on hip and T-spine mobility:

(Lying Knee-To-Knee)

(Quadruped T-spine Mobility)

Dynamic Movement and Running

Our dynamic movement runs seamlessly from our mobility drills. Athletes begin to move through they’re acquired range of motion getting the body ready to work out. Running, skipping, shuffling, and hopping, drills help increase kinesthetic awareness (where the body is in space) and is the final stage of the warm up.

(Backpedals)

Please stay tuned for our next installment where we’ll discuss Linear and Lateral acceleration.

See ya’ in the gym.

 

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