How to Warm Up and Stretch Before Your Next Run
The first step one should take before any run is warming up with simple and quick exercises. Running requires significant pre-exercise warm-ups designed to help the parts of the body impacted the most. Athletes and casual runners alike benefit from a healthy workout before a run. You can perform better and avoid injuries by maintaining and training your flexibility. A good warm-up and stretching session are essential for any successful run.
Why Should You Warm Up?
Before a run, stretching ensures that your muscles are sufficiently warmed up and ready for the run you’re about to perform. By progressively increasing blood flow to your muscles, warm-ups raise your muscle temperature. As a result, your muscles become more flexible and resilient, and the benefit from an elastic stride will both improve your running performance and better protect you from injury. It lubricates your joints, as well, and increases your flexibility. Warming up also has positive effects on your heart; your cardiac output and respiratory minute volume rise as a result of the activities increasing the maximum amount of oxygen you’ll be able to breathe. The risk of minor and severe injury can be reduced by warm-up exercises. It improves muscle and tissue flexibility and gets your body ready for quick, powerful motions. In addition, the risk of pulling or tearing a muscle is lower. If you want to run longer and with more consistency, you can accomplish your goals with a pre-run stretch.
Starting Your Warm Up
Keep in mind that a pre-run warm-up should focus on the muscles and joints you’ll be using the most. This means that you’ll want stretches targeting your glutes, hamstrings, quads, hips, and upper body. For running, it’s best to practice dynamic stretches, utilizing active movements and full motions to improve your joint and muscle performance. You’ll find that many of the stretches you do beforehand will emulate the movements often made during a run. Be sure to keep your movements slow, careful, and focused on form. An explosive warm-up will tire you out before you’re even ready to run. Try to time your run so that it almost immediately follows your warm-up. The effects of stretching will diminish the longer you wait. If you plan on a short but high-intensity run, such as a race, make your warm-up routine longer. A lengthy warm-up can increase your short-term performance.
Here are some easy and effective stretching techniques you can utilize on your next run. Increased repetitions are best for endurance, so aim to repeat each of these movements around fifteen times, or for around thirty seconds, to see the best results. As stated earlier, these exercises should be done carefully to avoid stress before a run.
· Butt Kicks
Butt kicks focus on your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. They are a great way to practice form, in addition to getting your limbs warmed up. Follow these steps to perfect the butt kick exercise:
1. Stand with your feet at hip-width. You can stand with your hands to your sides, in front of you, or behind you. Placing your hands behind your back adds the benefit of engaging your core.
2. With knees bent, start by kicking one of your legs back, aiming for your butt.
3. As your foot comes back down, repeat the motion with your other leg, and jog in place until completion of repetitions.
· High Knees
High knees can increase your cardio, metabolism, and calories burned during your run. It’s a full-body exercise that emulates a running motion and will prepare you for the workout ahead. Here’s how they’re done:
1. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Raise your knee to your chest while keeping the other straight.
3. Repeat with your left leg, and continue alternating legs for the desired number of repetitions.
4. With your arms, you can bring them to your shoulders as you run in place or stretch them in front of your body to maintain a rhythm.
· Lunge with Twist
A lunge with a twist can help build muscles in your glutes, thighs, and hips. Here are the steps:
1. Start with hands on your hips and your feet at hip-width.
2. Step forward with your leg, lowering your body until your thigh is parallel to the ground.
3. As you step forward, twist your torso to the right.
4. Return to starting position, then repeat with your other leg.
· Shoulder Rolls
Warm up your upper body with shoulder rolls. By rolling your shoulders forward and backward, you loosen up the muscles and joints in your shoulders, neck, and upper back. Try it out:
1. Stand with shoulders relaxed.
2. Gently roll your shoulders forward, up, and back.
3. Repeat for about thirty seconds.