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Dynamic Warm Ups Before Running

Many times when I ask runners how they warm up they tell me something like “I run slow the first ¼ mile.” While this is better than breaking immediately into a race pace I’m going to go over the benefits of a dynamic warm-up before your next run.

A dynamic warm-up is a way of stretching and warming up your body in an active way rather than holding static stretches. Dynamic stretches help increase blood flow to your muscles to help with flexibility, open up your joints and get your heart rate up. This is a good way to get your whole body moving and primed for what you’re about to do and hopefully help prevent injuries. These exercises address your mobility, flexibility, strength, and stability. I also like to incorporate a few easy glute activation exercises to get my glutes primed for my run.

Here’s my routine:

  1. Leg Swings

Holding onto a wall or sturdy object, stand on one leg and swing the other forward and back making as big of an arc of motion as you can, ease into it. Do this about 10x and switch legs. Then turn your body and swing one leg at a time right to left in front of your body trying to increase the arc of motion. Do this about 10x and switch legs.

  1. Inchworms

Make sure you have some open space in front of you and starting in a standing position, slowly reach your hands to the floor and walk your hands out, keeping your feet where they are until you are in a high plank position. Then while trying to keep your knees straight and heels down (as much as you can) step your toes towards your hands by inching them forward. You should feel a good stretch through the back of your legs. Once your toes meet your hands, stay there and then walk your hands out to repeat. I usually do 5-10 of these.

  1. Walking Lunge with Twist

This one is a little self-explanatory, with some space ahead of you, perform walking lunges and then when you’re at the lower part of each lunge, use your upper body to rotate your trunk open to the left and then to the right, then finish your lunge. I like to do about 10 of these.

  1. Standing Hip Abduction

These are ones I use to help engage my glutes. You can do them laying down but standing is usually easier when I’m already in my driveway. Stand on one leg holding onto something for support and extend your other leg out behind you at a diagonal. Your pelvis and upper body

There are a million other exercises that can be done, I usually do the few above when I’m outdoor running and laying down on the ground isn’t as easy.  One we really like here at ProFlex is iron crosses and scorpions, laying on your stomach with arms out to the side and reaching your leg across your body towards your opposite hand and then repeating the motion while on your back. These really help to engage your whole body and provide a great dynamic stretch.

Your stretching routine doesn’t have to be too long; I usually spend 5-10 minutes. Just make sure you’re doing some sort of active warm-up to prevent running injuries!


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