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Short Versus Long Warm Ups

18 Aug 2020
Randall Cooper
The warm-up is subject to its fair share of debate, ranging from sceptics who think they’re a waste of time to those who think a warm-up should be short and targeted rather than long as some traditionalists would have it.

A recent Norwegian study in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance seeks to help add some evidence to the debate by comparing the effects of a short specific warmup versus a traditional longer warm-up on a group of cross-country skiers.

The study gathered 14 athletes (8 men and 6 women) and had the athletes conduct two different warm-ups: one short set of eight 100m sprints with a gradual increase in intensity with a minute rest between sprints, and a longer, lower-intensity 35-minute set consisting of 5 minutes sprinting at moderate intensity and 3 minutes at high intensity.

The athletes then undertook a 1.3-kilometre time trial after completing each warm-up, with a 1h40m rest in between to allow them to recover.

The results? Warm-up traditionalists won’t be satisfied.

No real difference was found between the short and long warm-ups. Both groups completed the time-trial in near identical total time and posted the same average speeds and heart rates for the duration of the course.

This study indicates that a short specific warm-up can be just as effective as a long traditional warm-up for time trials in cross-country skiing.

Link to paper: Click Here.

Photo and Australian Cross Country Skier: Seve De Campo.




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