Workout Wednesday – Track Warm Up

As most of you already know, I am the head coach of a high school Track & Field team! Besides coaching specific events in the sport, I have also developed many off-season and pre-season training guides for athletes both in high school and beyond. Since indoor season has officially started and I am beginning to get my workouts together for the team, I wanted to share with you our typical team warm-up.

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My crazy girls and boys track team at districts 2015

This workout can be used as a warm-up to a more extensive running workout or it can be used as a quick cardio/strength work-out by itself as is or by adding on reps to the drills. It is best to do this workout outside, but you can do it inside a gym or long hallway (be careful of others and objects… I have tripped over a desk before while doing this workout indoors and it was not pretty).

Track & Field Team Warm-Up

Warm-Up:

  • Jog 2 laps around a track or infield (0.5 mile)
    • This should be at a comfortable pace approximately 50-60% of your fastest speed. If you are new to running feel free to take breaks to walk, but do not stop moving forward!

Dynamic Stretching:

  • 10 Leg Swings Forward & Backward (right & left legs)
    • Stand sideways next to a wall or fence and grab on for balance. Swing your right leg forwards and backwards 10x feeling a little stretch. Try to swing a bit higher each time. Switch legs and repeat.
  • 10 Leg Swings Side-to-side (right & left legs)
    • Stand facing a wall or fence and grab on for balance. Swing your right leg across and in front of your body and then out to the side 10x feeling a little stretch. Try to swing a bit higher each time. Switch legs and repeat.
  • 10 Arm Circles (forward & backward)
  • 10 Ankle Rolls (right & left, clockwise & counterclockwise)
    • Stand on one leg, place the toe of your other foot on the ground, and roll your ankle clockwise and counterclockwise 10x. Switch legs and repeat.

Dynamic Warm-Up:

Do each of these exercises twice about 20 meters or 60 feet for a warm-up. Increase the distance of each exercise or the reps for more of a workout. 

  • Toe Walks
    • Walk on your toes.
  • High Knee Run
    • Run with your knees reaching at least hip height. Try not to lean your chest back. Focus on being light and quick off your feet.
  • Heel Walks
    • Walk on your heels.
  • Butt Kick Run
    • Run with your knees reaching at least hip height, BUT this time tuck your feet under your body so they kick your bum. Focus again on being light and quick off your feet. 
  • Knee Pull to Chest
    • Walk forward and every few steps grab just below your knee and pull it toward your chest. Feel the stretch. These should be at a relaxed pace. 
  • Karaoke (right & left)
    • Like the grapevine you used to do in school. Side step, over, side step behind. Work on getting quicker and not moving your hips from side to side, this isn’t salsa people!
  • Walking Toe Touch
    • Walk forward and every few steps kick your leg up and ‘touch’ or attempt to your opposite hand to your foot. Feel the stretch. These should be at a relaxed pace. 
  • Cross Overs (right & left)
    • Same idea as the grapevine/karaoke, but there is NO BEHIND step. Just side step, cross over in front, side step, crossover in front, etc…
  • A Walks
  • A Skips
  • B Walks
  • B Skips


3 sets of 50 meter (150 feet) – Builders:

  • Start jogging slow & speed up gradually. You should end the 50 meters at almost your fastest speed. ***Slow down on your toes & gradually to avoid injury***

YOU DID IT!!!! Welcome to the track team!

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Make sure after every workout you take sufficient time to cool down (at least 10 minutes). Jog a little and then do some static standing/sitting stretches.

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.
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Best part of coaching is seeing my athlete’s grow up, learn, and have success! Same goes for medicine 🙂

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