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Warming up and cooling down are a critical part of a training program. The purpose of the warm-up section is to allow the athlete to prepare for activity. By warming up your muscles first, you greatly reduce the risk of injury.
A. Jog line to line (cone to cone):
Elapsed Time: 0 - .5 minute
Purpose: Allows the athletes to slowly prepare themselves for the training session while minimizing the risk for injury. Educate athletes on good running technique; keep the hip/knee/ankle in straight alignment without the knee caving in or the feet whipping out to the side.
Instruction: Complete a slow jog from near to far sideline
B. Shuttle Run (side to side)
Elapsed Time: .5 to 1 minute
Purpose: engage hip muscles (inner and outer thigh). This exercise will promote increased speed. Discourage inward caving of the knee joint.
Instruction: Start is an athletic stance with a slight bend at the knee. Leading with the right foot, sidestep pushing off with the left foot (back leg). When you drive off with the back leg, be sure the hip/knee/ankle are in a straight line. Switch sides at half field.
C. Backward Running
Elapsed Time: 1 – 1.5 minutes
Purpose: continued warm-up; engage hip extensors/hamstrings. Make sure the athlete lands on her toes. Be sure to watch for locking of the knee joint. As the athlete brings her foot back, make sure she maintains a slight bend to the knee.
Instruction: Run backwards from sideline to sideline. Land on your toes without extending the knee. Stay on your toes and keep the knees slightly bent at all times.