How To Warm Up For a Run To Prevent Injury.

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How To Warm Up For a Run to prevent injury

A lot of people finding it tempting to just get out there and not warm up for a run. Whether it is time constraints with a busy social life and work getting in the way of running. Or they believe that simply running will be sufficient warm up.

However, taking a few minutes before your run to complete a dynamic warm up can make a big difference in performance and injury prevention.

Learning How To Warm up For Running Can Help You Stay Injury Free.

It is incredibly easy to skip a warm up routine. It can feel like a drag and prolongs the time between deciding to go for a run and actually getting out there and running.

It may be tempting to skip the warm up all together – Until you wind up not being able to run due to injury.

The introduction of a simple and short warm up right before you run is one of the best things you can do to stay injury free, healthy and actually get better at running.

It may feel as though just running consistently is enough of an accomplishment without tacking on a warm up to the start of it. But. With the improvements a warm up can have on your health and longevity a simple and easy to complete warm up is vitally important.

Luckily the running warm ups provided in this article are fairly simple, quick and easy to finish.

Running Specific Problems That Need To Be Addressed.

Whenever you run your body absorbs three to seven times the force of your body weight. If you are a 80kg runner 240 to 560 kgs of force going into your body during each step.

If you do not warm up correctly or absorb the force effectively many injuries can occur. such as. Stress fractures, shin splints, muscle strains and Achilles tendonitis or tendinopathy.

Another important feature of running is the balance required to run. While running you spend all your time of one leg. This means insuring you have sufficient balance required to keep you body in proper positioning while you run. Not doing this will put tremendous stress on your tissues and will more than likely lead to an injury.

The Goal For Your Running Warm Up.

Preparing your body for running with an effective warm up will help you body and brain communicate with each other through the introduction of balance exercises. As well as lubricating your joints, activating surrounding soft tissue.

Priming the body to not just be more limber but to also absorb the force of running and release more than they absorb.

Why Every Runner Should Use Dynamic Warm ups.

Rather than holding a static stretch for extended periods of time, The dynamic warm up challenges the certain muscles that you want to prepare for running.

Before going for a run performing a few simple dynamic stretches. Stretching with the addition of movement. Different from the static stretches you would do to increase flexibility or aid in recovery. Static stretches should be left until after a run.

The goal of a dynamic warm up is to get the blood flowing and loosen muscles needed prior to running. These warm up stretches  help prevent injury caused by tight muscles. It also sends signals to your brain to get ready for exercise.

Benefits of dynamic stretches are:

  • Improves range of motion.
  • Improves coordination.
  • Warms up the muscles.
  • Lubricates your joints.
  • Improves blood flow.
  • Opens up capillaries.

A well planned, dynamic warm up can form the foundation for your mobility and muscular coordination and activation before your run.

How To Warm Up For a Run.

Dynamic Exercises.

simple to do and quick warm up exercises are an incredibly easy way to start your run. Being able to complete inside your house before leaving for your run in a few minutes.

These warm ups for running will keep you healthy and ready for your run in a few minutes. Complete this pre-run dynamic warm up routine to avoid injury, perform better and stay pain free.

5 Minute Warm Up For Your Run.

Table of Contents

1. The Ankle Rock

The ankle rock is a great exercise to start your warm up for running. It is simple to do and fire up your ankle and calf region.

How To Perform Ankle Rocks:

  •  Face parallel to a wall and use the wall for balance.
  • Slowly rock forward till you are up on your toes.
  • Slowly rock backward until your weight in on your heels and your fore foot is off the ground.

Perform 10-20 reps

Credit to UnifyHealth

2. Knee to chest.

The knee to chest is a staple in the running community and for good reason. It starts the warm up of the hip region and makes movement in that area much smoother.

How To Perform The Knee To Chest:

  • Balance on one leg.
  • Bring opposite knee up to your chest.
  • Hug your knee and bring it closer.
  • Hold for a few seconds then release.

If you would like to make this stretch more intense and open up you hips more grab your ankle and bring that up allowing your hip to externally rotate. Changing this from a knee to chest to an ankle to chest stretch.

Perform 10 – 20 reps on each side.

Credit to Infinite Performance Training.

3. Ankle Pumps.

Another great ankle warm up that will have your Achilles Tendon ready to absorb the forces necessary for running.

How To Perform Ankle Pumps:

  • Using a wall to push against with hand at shoulder height.
  • step back as if doing calf stretch then bring the other leg back as well.
  • Your body should be at roughly 45 degrees to the wall.
  • One leg at a time push through the heel and hold for a second.
  • Simply alternate feet pushing one heel to the ground then the other.

Perform for 30 seconds.

Credit to James Dunne.

4.Bent Knee Iron Cross.

This exercise is to loosen up the lower back which can often tighten up and even experience pain during or after a run.

How To Perform Bent Knee Iron Cross:

  • Lay flat on your back.
  • Place your arms straight out to the side.
  • Bring you legs up off the ground and bend them so they make 90 degrees.
  • Keep your legs at 90 degrees the whole time.
  • Rotate your knees down to the left till they are just off the ground.
  • Rotate them back up and over to the right side.

Perform 10 – 20 reps.

Credit to Alex Simone.

5. Leg Swings Forward.

Leg swings are a great dynamic movement to warm up the hips to be ready for running while also training balance and good posture.

How To Perform Leg Swings:

  • Stand straight with your feet roughly hip width apart.
  • You can hold onto a wall if needed.
  • Slowly swing one leg forwards and backwards in a smooth movement.
  • Switch legs.

Perform 10 reps per leg.

Credit to MyPhysioRehab.

6. Leg Swings Side To Side.

Just as the forward leg swings this warm up is a good mobility warm up for your hips.

How To Perform Leg Swings Side To Side:

  • Facing a wall and stand with feet hip width apart.
  • Stand on one leg and straighten the other so that it is just off the ground.
  • Swing the leg to the outside as far as you can.
  • swing your leg back towards your body so it crosses in front of the standing leg.

Perform 10 reps per leg.

Credit to Allaccessfa.

7. Bodyweight Squats.

The simple, tried and true body weight squats is an amazing exercise to do right before a run. Avoid performing to many reps but enough to confidently warm up your lower body.

How To Perform Bodyweight Squats:

  • Stand straight with your hands at your sides, feet shoulder width apart and toes painting forward.
  • while maintaining a flat back push your hips back.
  • Bend your knees and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Pause for a second.
  • Push yourself back up.

Perform 10 to 20 reps.

If you would like a comprehensive guide on how to squat we have written a comprehensive squat guide for the gym.

Credit to Buff Dudes Workout.

Now get out there and run!

After this warm up your body should be warm, mobile and ready for the load it is going to be under during your run.

If you would like to start running but don’t know where to start I have written a review of Couch to 5k. Which has taken many novices to running 5 kilometers successfully.

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