We all know it's important to warm up prior to a run. But not everybody does it! Six to eight minutes is all you need to get ready for your next run. These few minutes will pay off BIG. You will feel better during and after your run and help keep yourself injury free. Sooooo.... Just. Do. It.
There are two types of stretching: static, where you hold a stretch without moving, and dynamic, where you move through a range of motion. Static stretches should be saved for after the run, when muscles are ‘warm.’ Never before a workout or run. The key for runners is to target the large muscle groups used for running. Warm up with flexion and extension of the legs and lateral movements, especially before harder effort runs or races. See moves below.
Ankle Rotations: Exactly what it sounds like. 10 circles each foot. Clockwise and counter-clockwise.
Heel Dips: Start in a standing position with the balls of your feet on a step, your heels off the step. Let your heels drop focusing on the movement happening in your ankles. You should feel a stretch in your calves. After reaching the bottom the position, return back to the start.
Hip Circles: Standing with your feet hip width apart with your hands on your hips, rotate your hips in circles in a clockwise and then counterclockwise pattern five to ten times in each direction.
Leg Swings (front to back): Brace core, keep hips and shoulders square, and swing one leg forward and back. Careful to only move at hip, not knee. Perform the move 10 times on each leg.
Leg Swings (left to right, like a windshield wiper): While holding onto something stable (optional), brace core, keep hips and shoulders square, and swing one leg to your side and then back and across your torso. Perform the move 10 times each side. Great for opening hips.
Butt Kicks: Kick heels in towards glutes for a total of 20 kicks (10 per leg). If there is room, do while moving forward. Feel in the front of your upper legs.
Monster Walk: Stand tall, walk forward while lifting your legs straight in front of you. Do it 10 times on each side. Feel in the back of your upper legs.
Iron Cross: (5 -10 reps. each side.) If you have lower back issues* skip this move. Knee hugs would be a great alternative. Lie on your back with arms extended laterally from shoulders and legs straight. Swing one leg over tho the opposite side of your of your body, touching your foot to the ground at hip height. Don’t force. Return to start and repeat on other side.
Walk before run
Walk easy for one minute, then jog (on the edge of running) for a couple of minutes.
Finished? Now go run!
*But never run with any type of pain!
You’ll Release More Feel-Good Hormones
Checkout FIT Camp at Sabine Park Playground for all of these benefits - and more!
*We take it inside at UPBEAT Dance Center if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
Please email me to find out more!
It's a great, easy, relatively quick way to fire up your metabolism and wake up.
Still not convinced? Here are four reasons to drink a big glass of water first thing in the morning.
I've heard from many clients that they 'don't like the taste of water.' I hear you, and as a trainer I always aim to be supportive and understanding. That said, drinking water is such an important habit, that I say, "Man up!" :) Or sure, flavor it with lemon, cucumber whatever. But in the morning just DRINK IT! I generally stand at the sink and chug my glass of water, often times with coffee cup in hand. Reward yourself with that cup of coffee, AFTER your H20, to make the habit stick!
1. Source: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water?page=2
1. Lose Body Fat – Studies found that the average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for two months will gain nearly two pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of fat. As your lean muscle increases so does your resting metabolism, and you burn more calories ALL DAY LONG. Generally speaking, for each pound of muscle you gain, you burn 35 to 50 more calories each day. That really adds up!
2. Tone Up – Lifting weights and resistance exercises develop muscle tone and definition. Compared to men, women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause muscle hypertrophy (aka getting 'big'). Women don't gain size from strength training, but they can gain tone and definition.
3. Strong Bones – You Will decrease Your Risk Of Osteoporosis – Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density (and enhance bone modeling) by 13 percent in six months. This, coupled with an adequate amount of dietary calcium, can be a women's best defense against osteoporosis.
4. Improve Your Athletic Performance - Over and over research concludes that strength training improves athletic ability in all but the very elite athletes. Runners and cyclists are able to continue for longer periods of time with less fatigue. Skiers improve technique and reduce injury. Whatever sport you play, strength training has been shown to improve overall performance as well as decrease the risk of injury.
5. Be Physically Stronger – If your maximum strength is increased, daily tasks and routine exercise will be easier and far less likely to cause injury. Research studies conclude that even moderate weight training can increase a woman's strength by 30 to 50 percent. Research also shows that women can develop their strength at the same rate as men.
6. Reduce Your Risk Of Injury, Back Pain & Arthritis – Strength training not only builds stronger muscles, but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability. This acts as reinforcement for the joints and helps prevent injury. A recent 12-year study showed that strengthening the low-back muscles had an 80 percent success rate in eliminating or alleviating low-back pain. Other studies have indicated that weight training can ease the pain of osteoarthritis and strengthen joints.
7. You Will Improve Your Attitude And Fight Depression – A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling did. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their program, all important factors in fighting depression.
8. Boost Your Stamina - As you get stronger, you won't fatigue as easily. Building muscle also contributes to better balance, which can help you maintain independence as you age.
9. You'll Be More Flexible – Over time, your flexibility can decrease by up to 50 percent. This makes it harder to squat down, bend over, and reach behind you. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, found that three full-body workouts a week for 16 weeks increased flexibility of the hips and shoulders, while improving sit-and-reach test scores by 11 percent. Not convinced that weight training doesn't leave you "muscle-bound?" Research shows that Olympic weightlifters rate only second to gymnasts in overall flexibility.
10. IT’S FUN!!! Check out a Tailored F.I.T. Class. In addition to quick cardio intervals, we always include strength training, for all of the reasons above!
What costs about $20 and has the therapeutic benefits similar to a massage? A foam roller! Personal trainers and physical therapists use foam rollers to help their clients/patients break up fibrous tissue and alleviate soreness. But you don’t need a specialist to help you do the foam roller exercises below. Check them out and email me if you have any questions!
General Guidelines for foam rolling (SMR - Self-myofascial release)
Try these exercises to help prevent injury and improve performance:
Front thigh roll (Quadriceps)
Lie face down with the foam roller under your right thigh. Put your forearms on the ground. Keep your left foot off the ground by stacking your feet on top of each other (toe of left foot on heel of right foot). Supporting your body weight with your forearms, roll up and down from the bottom of the hip to the top of your knee. Repeat on the other side.
Stabilize your body on top of the roller, gently rolling up and down across the front of the lower leg. Particular helpful for those suffering from shin splints.
Lie on your right side with the foam roller under your right gluteal area and your right leg extended straight out. Bend your left knee and rest your left foot behind your right. Place both hands on the floor for support. Roll your right gluteal muscles. Repeat on the other side.
Sit with the roller under your right thigh. Place the palms of your hands on the ground (fingers pointing toward your body). Keep your left foot off the ground by stacking your feet on top of each other (heel of left foot on toe of right foot). Supporting your body weight with your hands, roll up and down from the bottom of your hip bone to the top of your knees. Repeat on the other side.
Prop your body up on your arms/hands, being sure to support yourself with a shoulder joint that is closed and packed. Roll the extent of the calf, performing plantar and dorsi flexion in order to capitalize on the gastrocnemius and the soleus. It is common to get fatigued, especially your wrists, in this posture, so take breaks when necessary.
Where to get a foam roll
When choosing a foam roll, product density is important. If the foam is too soft, less than adequate tissue massage is applied. Generally black foam rollers are higher density, and more durable. White or blue rollers slightly softer. If starting with a black foam roller, keep the pressure light until your body is accustomed to rolling. I prefer a 6”x36” round roller for versatility and balance, but you may get a 6”x18” if space is a concern. Foam rollers can be found in sporting goods stores and online.
I am a personal trainer, health coach and fitness instructor. I want to educate and empower you so that you will be able to challenge yourself, safely and effectively, even when we are not working together. Check out these workouts and articles.