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I have never sprinted before, so I have never done any warm ups or know of proper form for sprinting.

I am asking for advice as I want to minimise the possibility of injury.

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I cribbed from this (soccer-specific) dynamic workout when developing my running warm-up. It essentially mirrors Sancho's answer: jog, leg swings, lunges, butt-kicks, high knees, now go sprint. –  Dave Liepmann Apr 12 '12 at 21:13
    
You might want to look into getting some lessons from your local running club. Sprinting is difficult, and you can benefit a lot from even a few hours of good training. –  Soccerman 2 days ago
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3 Answers 3

You should include a general warmup, then some dynamic stretching, followed by some form drills that also will continue to warm you up, plyometrics for readying your CNS pathways, and some warm-up sprints. Here's an example warm-up:

  • Start with a general body warm-up (light jog for 800-1600m).
  • Do some dynamic stretches (leg swings, dynamic lunges)
  • Some ABC drills. These focus on the three basic elements of sprinting form. A is high knees. B is exaggerated leg extensions. C is butt kicks. These can be done slow at first, then fast for a second set.
  • Light plyometrics (double leg jumps for height, double leg jumps for distance, etc.)
  • Sprints at 80% effort.

If you've never ran before, some other advice to help minimize the chance of injury is to ramp-up slowly into this activity. Don't do too much at the start, and only increase your running load by about 10% each week. Also, include stretches after your workout, specifically some that target your IT band and hamstrings.

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Some light jogging for a few minutes and a few stretches should be fine. But don't overdo the sprinting in the first few training sessions. Rather go half speed and shorter distances for the first 2 weeks and the gradually increase both.

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If the stretches aren't static then I agree strongly. Static stretches inhibit maximal force exertions and reduce sensation, which are bad news bears prior to sprinting or other athletic activities. –  Dave Liepmann Apr 12 '12 at 20:27
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Just starting out? Stay off the flat, stay off the track. Hill work is the best way to stay injury free. Hills also recruit more muscle fibers due to increased gravitational demands. Here's the best way...

Warm up dynamically.
Find a hill that isn't too steep - use your judgment. After each rep, jog or walk back down & rest for 3 minutes. Use this progression:

Week 1 - 4 reps, 15 seconds, 85% effort
Week 2 - 6 reps, 15 seconds, 85% effort
Week 3 - 8 reps, 15 seconds, 85% effort, last 1 all out
Week 4 - 6 reps, 10 seconds, 95% effort
Week 5 - 8 reps, 10 seconds, 95% effort
Week 6 - 4 reps, 15 seconds, 95% effort; 2 reps on flat, 10 seconds, 95% effort
Week 7 - 2 reps, 20 seconds, 95% effort; 3 reps on flat, 15 seconds, 95% effort
Week 8 - all flat; 2 reps 10 seconds, 95% effort, 2 reps 20 seconds, 95% effort, 2 reps 10 seconds, 95% effort

Good luck.

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