Speed Training Warm-Ups to Get You Up and Running

Speed training warm-ups are necessary to improve performance. STACK Expert John Cissik offers several options that add fun and variety to your warm-up.

Running Warm-Up

Speed training warm-ups prevent injury and improve performance. Athletes often skip them because they think they're boring and don't see the benefits. But they're important. Below I provide some options to mix things up a bit and train more effectively.

Speed training warm-ups are typically divided into two parts. The general warm-up increases your heart rate and body temperature and gets your muscles, ligaments and tendons ready for work. Think of it as the injury-prevention component. The specific warm-up gradually increases in speed, intensity and complexity. The focus and practice helps improve your performance.

Perform one general and one specific warm-up, then go into your speed workout. Alternate the warm-ups to keep things fresh and challenging!

General Warm-Up

The general warm-up boosts your heart rate, works up a light sweat and prepares your muscles and joints for speed training. Here are three different programs you can do for a general warm-up prior to your speed training workout.

General Warm-Up 1

  • Slow Jog, 400 meters
  • Leg Swings, forward/backward, 10x each leg
  • Leg Swings, side-to-side, 10x each leg
  • Eagles, 10x each leg
  • Walking on Toes, 10 yards
  • Walking on Heels, 10 yards
  • Walking on Toes, toes pointed in, 10 yards
  • Walking on Toes, toes pointed out, 10 yards
  • Marches, 10 yards
  • Inchworms, 10 yards
  • Heel to Hip, 10 yards
  • High Knee Walk, 10 yards

General Warm-Up 2

  • Circuit: Kettlebell Swing 10x, Heavy Rope Slams 10x, Jumping Rope 20x; repeat 5 times
  • Jumping Jacks, 10x
  • 10-meter Jog
  • Bodyweight Squats, 10x
  • 10-meter Jog
  • Lunges, 10 meters
  • 10-meter Jog
  • Inchworms, 10 meters
  • 10-meter Jog
  • Bear Crawls, 10 meters
  • 10-meter Jog
  • Stand on one foot, 30 seconds
  • 10-meter Jog
  • Stand on the other foot, 30 seconds
  • 10-meter Jog
  • Stand on one foot, Medicine Ball Chest Passes, 30 seconds
  • 10-meter Jog
  • Stand on the other foot, Medicine Ball Chest Passes, 30 seconds

General Warm-Up 3

  • Slow jog, 200 meters
  • Jump Rope, 10x
  • Kettlebell Swing, 10x
  • Leg Swings, forward/backward, 10x each leg
  • Jump Rope, 10x
  • Kettlebell Swing, 10x
  • Eagles, 10x each leg
  • Jump Rope, 10x
  • Kettlebell swing, 10x
  • Crab Walks, 10 meters
  • Jump Rope, 10x
  • Kettlebell Swing, 10x
  • Lunges, 10 meters
  • Jump Rope, 10x
  • Kettlebell Swing, 10x
  • High Knee Walk, 10 meters
  • Jump Rope, 10x
  • Kettlebell Swing, 10x
  • Vertical Jump, stick landing, 10x

Specific warm-ups

In this phase, intensity and speed increase, and the exercises become more complex. The idea is at the end of your specific warm-up, you are ready to begin your full-speed sprinting workout.

Specific Warm-Up 1

Specific Warm-Up 2

  • High Knee Walk, 2x10 meters
  • Straight Leg Bounds, 2x10 meters
  • A Skip, 2x10 meters
  • B Skip, 2x10 meters
  • Falling Starts, 3x5 meters
  • Standing Starts, 3x5 meters

Specific Warm-Up 3

  • High Knee Walk: pull knee up, then move into lunge, 3x20 meters
  • A Skip, 3x10 meters
  • Straight Leg Bounds, 3x10 meters
  • Falling Starts, 1x5 meters
  • Standing Starts, 1x5 meters
  • Push-Up Starts, 1x5 meters
  • Starts Lying Prone, 1x5 meters 
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Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: WARM-UP | CHEST | JUMP ROPE | WORKOUTS | TRAIN | DRILL | INJURY | INTENSITY | SWING | HEART | JUMPING | MEDICINE BALL | KETTLEBELL | KETTLEBELL SWING