.

February 3, 2017 • Cross countryTrack & Field

Getting more from running warm-ups

The days of taking a lap and static stretching as a warm-up are over.

Chuck Woolridge, the successful cross country and track coach at Campolindo High School in Moraga, California, has learned quite a bit about the ancillary aspects of running in his 15 years of coaching and he has a variety of warm-ups that enhance an athlete’s ability to run.

“I got a lot of this stuff from basketball videos,” said Woolridge. “We want to address those areas that don’t get a lot of work when you’re running. For example, if you increase your hip mobility, it increases your stride length — mobility helps efficiency.”

Woolridge has his runners do “Fitness Warm-Up A” on Tuesdays and Fridays and “Fitness Warm-Up B” on Thursdays. Meets in his league are on Wednesdays with invitationals on Saturdays, so coaches with different schedules should adjust accordingly.

Fitness Warm-Up A


Easy 800-meter run. Emphasize quick stride frequency, an erect posture and good arm swing.

Eagles (chest). Athletes lie on their chests with arms outstretched and palms down. They bring one heel to the opposite hand in a slow, deliberate movement.

Forward 60-meter jog.

Eagles (back). Athletes lie on their backs with arms outstretched and palms up. They bring their feet across to the opposite hand.

Forward 60-meter jog.


Side leg raises: Athletes lie on their sides with the top hand on the hip. They raise the top leg only, then twist the toes when the leg is elevated. Do the same with both sides.

Backward 60-meter jog.

Opposite arm/
leg raises. Athletes
are on their chests.
They raise one leg
(making sure the
quadriceps is all the
way off the ground) at
the same time the opposite arm is lifted. Do both sides.

Backward 60-meter jog.

Abductor half-squat circles. Athletes slightly bend their knees with hands inside the knees. They make a circular motion with their knees providing resistance with their hands. Circle in both directions.

60-meter skip while doing a 360-degree turn to the right.

Scoop. Athletes are on their backs with their knees together. They bring their legs up to 90 degrees and bend their knees. They then slide their heels straight out and lower their legs to one inch above the ground.

60-meter skip while doing a 360-degree turn to the left.

Scorpions. Athletes are on their hands and knees. With one leg bent, they drive the heel of that leg to the sky while maintaining a neutral hip position. Do both legs.

60-meter crossover jog: One leg should cross over the other with each stride. The runners bound from side to side as they move down the track.

Hurdle leg lift. Athletes are sitting down with one leg bent at the knee and the other leg straight. The foot of the leg with the bended knee is pressed against the inside of the other knee. They then lift the straight leg up and down. Do both legs.

60-meter crossover jog.

Low-reach crunch. Athletes are leaning back with their knees bent and shoulders off the ground. Their arms are straight at their sides and they then slide their arms forward from the hips to heels as torso moves up in a crunching motion.

60-meter wide-step jog. Each stride is at a roughly 45-degree angle off to the side, so the runners are zigzagging down the track.

Hydrants. Athletes are on their hands and knees and they lift one knee out to the side, parallel with the hip, keeping the leg bent. They should not twist the torso during this slow, deliberate movement. Do both legs.

60-meter wide-step jog.

Adductor half-squat circles. Athletes slightly bend their knees with the hands outside their knees. They make a circular motion with their knees providing resistance with their hands. Circle in both directions.

Fitness Warm-Up B

Easy 800-meter run. Emphasize quick-stride frequency, an erect posture and good arm swing.

Trunk rotations. Athletes are on their backs, arms are outstretched with knees together and bent at 90-degree angle. Swing legs side to side.

Backward 60-meter jog.

Donkey whips. Athletes are on their hands and knees. They swing one leg, from the hip, moving the foot across their body to the opposite shoulder, then they whip the leg back diagonally across their bodies toward the shoulder on the same side. Do both legs.

Backward 60-meter jog.

Pistons. Athletes are on their backs with their shoulders off the ground. Both legs should be elevated several inches off the ground. While keeping one leg straight, they bring the other knee up to the chest, alternating legs.

60-meter skip while doing a 360-degree turn to the right.

Side clams. Athletes are on their sides with their legs together and knees bent. The top hand is on the top hip. Lift the top knee to the sky. Do both sides.

60-meter skip while doing a 360-degree turn to the left.

Bird dogs: Athletes are on their hands and knees. They extend one arm forward from the shoulder, parallel to the ground, and the opposite leg straight back from the hip. They alternate sides while maintaining a neutral hip position.

60-meter crossover jog. One leg should cross over the other with each stride. The runners bound from side to side as they move down the track.

Oblique crunches. Athletes are on their sides, hips perpendicular to the ground, shoulders parallel to the ground, and their hands behind their heads. While the torso is twisted, they bring their heads forward in a crunching motion.

60-meter crossover jog.

Chest raises. Athletes are on their chests, arms are straight down at their sides with the palms down. They lift their chest off the ground, squeezing the shoulder blades and glutes together while turning the hands outward.

60-meter wide-step jog. Each stride is at a roughly 45-degree angle off to the side so the runners are zigzagging down track.

Thrusts. Athletes on their backs with knees bent, feet on the ground and hands behind their heads. They simultaneously lift their hips off the ground and bring their heads forward.

60-meter wide-step jog.

Standing H. Athletes stand straight with good posture with their arms straight down at their sides. They lift one leg off ground until the knee is at hip level with the upper part of leg parallel with the ground. They then flex their toes. Do both legs.

Each exercise is timed, and Woolridge works up to 60 seconds for each one.

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *