How Warm-up and Recovery Improve Performance


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Warm-up. Train. Recover.  These are the three requirements of a successful training session that will help you prepare your body to perform and reduce the likelihood of injury so you are ready for your sport.

You don't have to add workouts or train longer or harder to make progress toward your training goals. You simply have to apply logic to your training sessions--book-end your training with warm-up and recovery.

Proper warmup and recovery

By adding a strategic warm-up and recovery component you're going to maximize your training potential.

When we say "strategic" warmup, we are referring to warming up muscles and priming your nervous system specific to the focus of your training session. For example, if the focus of your training session is linear speed (acceleration), your warmup should include movements in the forward direction, movements that integrate lower leg drive and forward body posturing, and that prime the muscles for lower body power.

In the same breath, a good recovery strategy would be one that reduces inflammation in your primary accelerator muscles like your quads and calves and soft tissue work that helps accelerate recovery, like foam rolling and trigger point therapy on your arches, knees and hips.

In other words, to get the full benefit out of your training session, you have to prioritize the focus of your warm-up and recovery to match the focus of your training session.

Many people ask how much time they should devote to warm-up and recovery. Here's a guide:

How long should your warm up be?