Whether you’re training for the Boston Marathon or going for a jog around the block, it's crucial to do these essential running warm ups before you lace up your sneakers. Why? Warming up properly activates your muscles, preventing injury and priming your body for better form.
Here are just a few ways to warm up before you start running.
Roll Out to Get Pliable
Building pliability by rolling out helps loosen your muscles and joints before you start moving. The key here is to target the areas that you’ll use the most on your run. Naturally, your focus areas here should be along your legs, specifically your calves, hamstrings, glutes, and quads.
It can feel easy to skip this step and just head out the door. But, skipping a pre-run rollout stages you for injury and damaged muscles. Taking a few minutes to roll out can save you plenty of damage control in the future.
Activate Your Glutes and Core
Once your muscles are pliable, get them warmed up and ready to run. Here, focus on activating your glutes and core. Doing so helps take the load off of areas like your hips, knees, and low back. Remember, form is key while performing these exercises.
- Lie face up on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
- Lift your hips up off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line.
- Place your hips back down and repeat.
- Lie stomach-down with your elbows at your sides, under your shoulders.
- Lift your core and shoulders off the ground, keeping your elbows flat and legs straight. Hold.
- Gently lower your core and repeat.
Glute Med (Gluteus Medius) Side Plank
- Start on your side, with one arm and leg on the ground supporting you.
- Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line. Hold.
- Gently lower your hips and repeat.
Lateral Band Walks
- Loop a resistance band just above your ankles on both legs.
- Position your feet shoulder-width apart in a half-squat position, firming the band.
- Step side-to-side, one foot at a time, stretching and tightening the band as you go. Repeat.
Run, Then Cool It Down
You’re ready to hit the road (or track, or mountain path). Enjoy your run! Once you get back, don't forget to roll out the areas you worked with a foam roller to prevent soreness and improve muscle pliability.