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!
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.