Source: Hurlburt Field
Competitive runners often want to push the limit during the grueling training process, but common injuries can prevent them from hitting their next goals. Simple warm-up stretches before running can reduce the risk of injury.
Dynamic stretches are changing the way people look at warm-up routines. It’s a new concept in the fitness industry. Runners can now gain an edge over their competition by adding in these dynamic stretches before running.
1. Reverse Lunges
Athletes are typically familiar with basic lunge warm-up exercises, but reverse lunges are just as effective. Reverse lunges actually are safer for your knees, and they focus more on your glutes!
Start with a combination of 2 x 5 reps until your body is warmed up. This can activate the muscles in your legs and hips to jumpstart your whole routine.
Reverse lunges can be a game-changing move for anyone working on their fitness routine. Repeat until you feel warmed up.
The plank exercise works out your core. The stronger your core, the more stable your running will be. This is because your core muscles support your spine. These muscles also help you balance your weight between your lower body and upper body while running.
The plank exercise helps during both short and long-distance runs.
3. 80 Percent Run
Some runners prefer to jog around 80 percent of their maximum speed, which is known as the 80 percent run. This is a popular method to help runners warm-up before a big race. New runners can practice their form with the 80 percent run, which is an excellent warm-up strategy to use over time.
The idea of this warm-up is to get your body adjusted to running before pushing harder. It is also known to help reduce injuries and cramps.
4. World's Greatest Stretch
The World’s Greatest Stretch simultaneously works out various muscle groups. It targets specific muscles like the hip flexors, butt, hamstrings, quadriceps, and lateral calf. You can do this warm-up in five minutes before or after your workout, and it’s one of the best dynamic stretches for running.
5. Jump Rope
Jump roping is quick and easy for every runner. This exercise focuses on completing consecutive reps to warm up the body and prepare muscle groups for extended or high intensity runs.
6. High Knees
High knees are another great pre-run stretch or workout. High knees work out your legs and core.
Start from a standing position. Then, rapidly lift up your knees. Once you fall into a rhythm, you’ll feel like you are jogging in place with a few short pauses in between each knee lift.
7. Side Shuffle
The side shuffle is a dynamic pre-run workout that involves running in the same direction, but with sudden movements. Use your hips to move laterally with your body, which will help exercise several muscle groups along the way. The side shuffle is popular because it takes little energy to do, and it strengthens and improves the range of motion of the lateral hip.
8. Butt Kicks
The butt kick is our favorite dynamic stretch to do before running (we know running). Start with your legs spread slightly apart. Then kick up your heels toward your butt.
As you warm up, you can add speed until you’re running in place. Always remember to drive your heels up toward your glutes.
9. Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks helps get your heart pumping. Daily jumping jacks can lower blood pressure, reduce fat, tone your muscles, and improve flexibility.
10. Single-Leg Glute Bridge
The single-leg glute bridge will target your glute muscles.
Start by lying on your back with your hands splayed out on your sides. Dig one heel into the ground with your toes facing up. Then extend your other leg until it is straight. Once you have this position, push your hips up. Then come back down slowly while focusing on your core and squeezing your glutes. To start, you can do 5 repetitions with 30-second breaks in between.
Use These Dynamic Stretches Before Running
These dynamic stretches make for excellent pre-run routines. They can also reduce the risk of cramps, fractures, and strains.
Now that you know about the best stretches to do before you run, keep track of your run times and training plan with our SportMe app. Use our pace calculator and speak to training instructors to help you get your best results.