Active Warm Ups for Runners

24 Mar

I have had to lay off any form of exercise for a couple of weeks due to a crazy inner ear infection (equilibrium out of whack, ear pain, so much pressure). I will spare you the dramatics, but I did manage to head out for a 14 miler with my running buddy, Nina over the weekend (one mile for every day of no exercise) and that was a huge morale booster.

So this next week, it will be extra important for me to warm up my muscles before asking it to do some of the crazy things I ask it to do on the daily. I am not great about warming up before a run, but I do always warm up before a strength workout or a speed workout.

The goals of an active or dynamic warm up is to help prepare your body for the demands of your workout. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Increases your heart rate- gets your blood pumping
  • Puts your joints through full range of motion before stressing them- especially your hips
  • Promotes good posture- who doesn’t need this???

So here are some of the exercises I will be doing this week, in this order.

  1. Scissors (side to side and forward and back). Lying on your back, support your hips with your hands and raise your legs straight up to the sky. Extend legs out (like a Y) then draw them in crossing the right leg in front of the left leg; then left in front of right. (20-30 seconds). For the forward to back scissors, simply lower the right leg toward your head while the left leg points to the sky, then switch. (20-30 seconds)

    first photo: scissors second photo: scissors forward and back

    first photo: scissors side to side
    second photo: scissors forward and back

  2. Donkey Kicks. Get on all fours with your eyes forward, bring your right knee in to your tummy then extend that right leg back and up (15-20 times) repeat on other side.

    donkey kicks

    Donkey kicks

  3. High Knees. As you walk, bring your knee up to at least waist level. If you are prepping for a speed workout, do this but turn it into a skip while pumping your arms. (30 seconds)

    High Knees

    High Knees- I am walking forward with exaggerated high knees

  4. Forward Lunge with a Toy Soldier Kick. It does’t have to be a high kick. If I’m not at a track or I don’t have a lot of room, I will just do 5 in a row then turn back around and do another 5. (10 times)

    Lunge with a Kick

    Forward Lunge with Kick

  5. Around the World Leg Swing to Reverse Lunge. This one takes some balance and a little practice to feel comfortable doing it. Balancing on your left leg, raise your right leg and swing it front-side-back to finish in a lunge with your left leg in front and the right leg back. Ta-da! (10 times)Warm Ups for Runners
  6. Squat Jumps. With knees and toes pointed forward, squat down then jump up. You will land with soft knees back down in a squat. (10 times)
  7. Sprints or Strides. 

I am essentially picking up where I left off with my training so I will be doing everything I can to prevent injury. These warm ups will help. My goal is to do them before every run this week. Followed by my stretch routine.

Do you do a dynamic workout? What types of exercises do you do?

3 Responses to “Active Warm Ups for Runners”

  1. Natalie March 31, 2014 at 4:57 am #

    These look great! this summer I was doing these:

  2. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast April 2, 2014 at 7:10 am #

    Last time I tried to comment it wouldn’t let me… let’s see if it goes through today. Anyway, when working with a coaching group in Houston we did lots of dynamic stretches and it was kind of fun. On my own? Nope. Too lazy!

    • kandjcolorado April 3, 2014 at 9:24 am #

      It is tough to do on your own, but I do really enjoy the effects it has on me and my workout. I don’t do it before every run, but I do try to do it before the tough ones.

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