Reasonable Warm-ups

In the case of warm ups and stretching, you need to have an idea of what is appropriate for the situation for which you are warming up or stretching. Different stretching/warm-ups are used whether an athlete is prepping or recovering from an activity. 

But do not forget that every athlete’s body is different, some need more stretching/warm-up time than others. However, if it’s much more than others (in the same group or team) this is may be a good indicator that something is wrong and the body is not ready for normal activity. 

I’ve seen players “need” nearly an hour warm-up BEFORE they get to my dynamic warmup that I give them. That’s an excessive amount of time! Needing this amount of time is typically an indicator of poor recovery, poor strength, and poor balance within the body in some way. 

But, if the athlete is requesting this, then that’s what they need to feel ready. As we all know, sometimes it is the mind that needs the ramp up time. 

Generally, I’d say this type of example is of an athlete with poor recovery and balance, and will often manifest itself with everything feeling tight. If this is the case, a separate stretching workout should be done the night before or in the morning before the practice time frame begins.

However it gets done, that amount of stretching that will take 45-75 minutes should not be a part of the practice time period. If you (or an athlete you know) need that level of warming up and stretching, you’ve got to get that on your own time. You also need to understand that there likely are other issues at play that need to be identified and strategized around if that has not already been done. Again, constant tightness is often the manifestation of other issues.

A normal warm-up period will be 10-20-min for most ball sports while track athletes may take 30-minutes or more. Keep in mind track athletes are a different kind of athlete with very specific physical requirements. 

With this we are looking at different shades of preparation and different shades of athletes and that does matter as well. So bottom line, don’t waste your time on a long warm-up when the reality is, the need for a lengthy warm-up may be caused by some other factors that need to be dealt with in other parts of an athlete’s training day.

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