Active Stretching Exercises For Athletes

Sample exercises for proper warm up for athletes participating in explosive activities. These exercises can also be used in a speed development program: here is a sample of an off season speed plan

Warm up activities demonstrated in the video:

  • Active hamstring stretch
  • Walking straight leg kick up
  • Walking quad stretch
  • Walking leg cradle
  • Walking in-step stretch
  • Walking single leg RDL
  • Walking inchworm

Why Warm Up For Exercises?

Warm up drills designed to increase body temperature, improve blood flow to the muscles, improve body awareness, stimulate the nervous system, create greater range of motion in the muscles needed for the training session and decrease the risk of injury.

In track and field, throwers usually perform 400m – 600m of active warm up exercises broken down into 10 exercises at 40m – 60m each. Sprinters and jumpers generally warm up with 800m-1,000m of exercises and include more explosive exercises near the end of the warm up routine. Distance runners often used active warm up exercises to warm up before or a after an easy run or at the end of a workout to develop strength or flexibility.

The warm up will include general and specific exercises and help develop the five bio-motor abilities:

  • Strength
  • Speed
  • Endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Coordination

Daily Warm Up Progression

The warm up routine will start with general movements and progress to event specific preparation.  Athletes start with general exercises and flexibility then advance to more specific preparation. The exercises move from lower intensity controlled activities to higher intensity dynamic elements.

Here is a link on daily warm up routines

Warm Up Organization

Warm up design is important as training design.  Each warm up should have a theme and purpose to help develop bio-motor abilities; event specific needs and prepare for the training session.

Building endurance, flexibility and coordination are common themes in the general preparation phase. The focus on speed and strength is commonly developed during the warm up in the competition phase.

Event specific training is done year around, starting with specific endurance  during the specific preparation phase then specific strength during the competition phase. Finally, specific speed is refined during the peak phase.

Warming up properly will help an athlete prepare for the activities during the training session but can also add strength, speed, flexibility, coordination and endurance depending on how the routine is implemented.

Need an Off Season Speed Plan?


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