Warming up before running is the key to success, so it should not be skipped.
Sometimes we’d rather start running as soon as we get out of the apartment and skip those boring exercises we just waste time with. Surely most of us think: Should I really include warm-ups in my training?
The answer to that question comes by itself sooner or later: in the form of an injury. Without preparing the musculoskeletal system for running, we risk pulling a muscle or tendon. To make matters worse, at the end of your workout you will feel exhausted, discouraged, and thinking, “Do I need this in my life at all?”
Warming up activates muscles, tendons and joints, gradually increases the heart rate and makes it easier to get into the rhythm of breathing and the pace of running for the main part of training, or running. It can be very short, it is enough to do a few exercises of dynamic warm-up and short sections of walking or slow running to activate the body.
Pre-run Dynamic Warm-up
Start walking for 3 to 5 minutes. This will engage your muscles, joints and tendons in the same range of motion as when you run, only at low intensity. It will stimulate increased blood flow through the activated muscles and increase the body temperature. Also, the brain receives a signal that the body is preparing for intense activity.
Once you’ve started preparing your body through walking, insert a few short sections of running (40-50m) at a low to moderate pace to further boost blood flow, activate fast-twitch muscle fibers, and help your body make the transition from walking to running.
Dynamic stretching with controlled movements improves range of motion, relaxes muscles and raises heart rate, body temperature and blood flow to make running as efficient as possible.
Do the following exercises:
1. Forward and Backward Leg Swings
Grasp a pole, tree, or something else with your hand to help maintain balance. With your foot on the same side, perform back and forth swings, keeping your leg straight at all times. Make 10-12 swings, change sides and repeat. This exercise activates the glutes and hip flexors.
2. Side to Side Leg Swings
With both hands, hold on to a pole, tree, or something else to help maintain balance. Perform leg swings from right to left, keeping your leg straight at all times. Make 10-12 swings, change legs and repeat. This exercise activates adductors and abductors.
The starting position is at hip width. From the starting position, lounge forward so that the upper leg of your front leg is parallel to the ground. From this position you return to the starting position. Do 10-12 reps with each leg. This exercise activates the glutes, quadriceps, and hip flexors.
4. Side Lounges
The starting position is slightly wider than the width of the hips. From that position, take a step to one side and return to the starting position. Do the same on the other side. Do 10-12 reps on each side. This exercise activates the glutes and quadriceps.
5. Toe Raises
The starting position is shoulder-width apart. From the starting position, you rise to the toes of both feet at the same time. Do 10-12 reps. We activate the calves with this exercise.
With this short dynamic warm-up, you have engaged all the muscles that are primarily active in running and reduced the chance of injury. Try to include a dynamic warm-up routine before any workout, whether it’s running, working out at the gym, or some other sports activity.