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Friday, July 16, 2010

2. Dynamic Warm up Drills: How to give you your best shot at an optimal event

In my previous post I spoke about the deleterious effects of passive stretching before exercise. So what are you supposed to do before exercise or competition? The answer is a series of progressively more intense activities that bring the body to a point where it is ready for peak performance. These activities include:
1. Mobility exercises – these increase the range of motion of a joint, so that it can manage the requirements of the activity safely & effectively. An example of such an activity are increasingly aggressive arm circles for a swimmer
2. Facilitation exercises – these exercises mimic the activity about to be performed in an ever increasing range of motion & intensity. An example of this might be a high knee drill before a quality run work out
3. Recruitment exercises – these exercises are careful repetitions of the movement required in an overloaded fashion. This ensures that enough muscle fibers are recruited to not only perform safely, but competitively. An example of this might be swinging a baseball bat with a weighted doughnut attached prior to batting practice
Attached is a picture of Shelia Burrell, world championship bronze medalist heptathlete & 4th in Olympics, performing a dynamic warm up drill. Below is a video of Carrie Messner-Vickers, world champs steeplechase finalist & US record holder performing a grapevine or karaoke dynamic warm up drill.
Some examples of effective dynamic warm up procedures can be found in Run Workouts for Runners & Triathletes, or The DVD, Triathlon, The Run, both by Bobby McGee. Available from

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