Runner's ideal warm up routine?
I believe proper warming up is essential for runners of all levels.
So why should you warm up in the first place?
The rewards of regular and effective warming up are countless. Here are just a few:
- Boosting your blood circulation which means carrying more oxygen to your muscles
- Minimizing the chances of injury
- Enhancing the activity of your neuromuscular pathways in order to become fully prepared for exercising
- Allowing your joints to move freely and endure any stressful impacts
Warm ups for different Body parts
Important Remark: Please make sure to consult your physician before trying these warm ups especially if you have any problematic areas.
I would recommend warming your body up first before 'cold stretching' you wouldnt want to pull something - you could incorporate these in with some of the 'dynamic' warm ups as shown in the video clip that will be added
Head and neck warm ups
First off, ensure that your chin is very close to your chest. Then, rotate your head few counts clockwise and the same number anticlockwise. It is very important to slow down the rotations.
Torso, arms, and shoulders warm ups
Shrug your shoulders while lightly swinging your arms for startup. Then, make sure to twist round gently at the waist while rolling your shoulders and circling your wrists.
Now standing with your legs apart slightly and the palms of your hands against the sides of your legs, lean slightly to the right moving your hand towards your knee for few counts. Then, repeat the same steps on the other side.
Legs warm ups
Place your hands against the wall while leaning forward gently. Keep your heel on the ground with your rear leg straightened. Then, bend your arms to bring your chest close to the wall while maintaining the straight-leg-flat- heel position for 10 to 20 seconds.
Now you need to focus on your front leg which should be bent. Straighten your arms and your front legs slowly. Once your arms are straight, your chest will be pushed away from the wall. Maintain this position for 10 to 20 seconds. Keep alternating legs and repeating the same steps few times. For best results, this exercise should be done slowly without bouncing.
Here is another excellent leg warm up exercise: Balance on your right leg by holding onto anything stable to be able to support yourself. Then, slightly bend your left knee, bringing one foot up behind you and holding the left foot or ankle with your right hand. Keep alternating legs for quad stretch. Then, pull your heel gently towards the buttocks with your knees together. If you follow these steps thoroughly, you should feel a stretch at the front of your thighs. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds and keep alternating your legs.
Ankles and feet warm ups
Balance on your right leg by holding onto anything stable to be able to support yourself. Point your left toes forward and gently rotate your foot in circles. Repeat the same steps on your left leg.
Then, put your feet together, holding onto something stable for balance. Keep pushing your toes up and down for 10 to 20 seconds.
General warm up tips
Ideally, your warm up routine should take 10 minutes. For example, if you plan to jog for 20 minutes, then start by walking slowly for 3 minutes. Then, walk faster for another 3 minutes and do some light jogging for 4 minutes.
During this warm up, breathe easily at first and keep building up the intensity as you go. Breathing deeply will result in a subtle rise in your body temperature.
Here is another excellent tip: if you suffer from poor circulation, a warm shower is very easy yet effective technique that could substantially help in boosting your circulatory system.
Cooling down after running is equally important as warming up and typically a 10-minute cool down routine should be enough.
If you don’t have 20 minutes to spare for warming up and cooling down, you may split that time in half.
That’s it! Just remember that warming up will ensure that you make the most out of your workout and I guess you would agree with me that injury prevention is much better than injury recovery. So, make sure you incorporate warming up and cooling down in your running routine frequently. Have fun!
Incorporating Yoga into your running schedule will help you to reach those knots that normal stretching cannot - I/Debs or anyone else that knows, can show some useful yoga running stretches for 'Post run' - hopefully meaning less injuries
Happy stretching ;-)