Hello to Running: Warm Up

Why warm up?

Before you begin to run, you’ll want to complete a small warm up to gradually raise your heart rate and activate the muscles you’ll be using. Think of it as an icebreaker for your run (unless you hate icebreakers, then think of it as something else). To maximize performance, it is important to perform dynamic (moving) stretches before the run and save static (non-moving) stretching for afterwards (or, maybe don’t do static drills at all I’ll talk about this in a separate post). Here’s a simple 10-minute routine to do before your run. Pretty much this entire warm-up has been adapted from Coach Jay Johnson’s warm up routine, so this is one of those “good artists copy, great artists steal” type moments. (But seriously shout out to Coach Jay he is awesome!)

Lunge Matrix (Rev it Up)

The lunge matrix routine is a series of lunges in multiple planes of motion. The idea here is to get your heart rate to raise, due to the effort of the lunges, and to get all of your lower body muscle systems firing properly. By doing lunges in multiple planes, you will not only be activating your primary frontal plane movers, but your sagittal and transverse stabilizing muscles as well. As you go through, don’t rush and let your form get sloppy, but also don’t dog it. Remember we want to be increasing your heart rate and getting your blood flowing. Do 10 reps of each lunge listed below.

  • Front Lunge
  • Front Lunge with a Twist
  • Lateral Lunge
  • 45-degree Lunge
  • Backwards lunge
  • Curtsey Lunge

*Bonus: The Lunge Matrix ends up being 60 lunges total, which makes it a great way to increase your overall leg strength!*

Leg Swings (Shake it Off)

What you are trying to achieve here is to stretch the upper muscles of your leg and hip dynamically. By using momentum generated by your own muscles, you will get a deeper stretch than you would with static stretching, but for a shorter amount of time. By doing this, you reduce the stiffness, but do not to overly lengthen the muscles. Simply place your arms on something sturdy to balance yourself and stand on one leg. Proceed to swing the non weight bearing leg back and forth through its full range of motion. Perform 10 swings on each leg for the directions listed bellow.

  • Forward to Back
  • Side to Side

I know it can be easy to skip the little things like warm ups, but trust me, you are worth it. Once you get through these routines, you should be feeling good and ready to go embark on your adventure!