Friday, February 13, 2015

A Quick Guide to Getting Warm Before the Run

The warm up is the most essential part of the routine when getting ready to not only run, but in getting ready to do anything active. The warm up is so important, because it helps to acclimate the body to physical exertion in a controlled progressive manner. “If you start out too fast, you run the risk of pulling a muscle, tweaking a tendon, bone, or joint, or getting into a pace that you can't sustain.”1 By warming up in controlled manner you are slowly raising your heart rate and stretching out your tendons and ligaments to help prevent tweaking something that could be disastrous for your training session. Over the recent years studies are starting to show that static stretching is actually hindering performance as opposed to dynamic stretching, and that dynamic stretching is helping to eliminate injuries and increase performance outputs by athletes.  Here are a few easy tips that can help get you started with a warm up:

  • Start off with about ten minutes of light jogging in order to start the blood pumping and loosen up the joints.
  • When you have started to feel warm and have broken a light sweat it is time to do some dynamic stretching, and this type of stretching puts yours joints and muscles through the same movements it will be using while competing. This will consist of high knees, shuffling, skipping, backwards jogging, butt kicks, and karaoke run being done a span of twenty yards and then returning the same distance.
  • Once the dynamic stretching drills are complete, it is a good idea to start loosening up the upper body with some shoulder rolls, neck rolls, and trunk rotations. It’s important to warm up your upper body, because it must work in unison with the lower body.

There is a wide variety of different types of stretching with only a handful mentioned here; it is up to the athlete to find the right warm up routine for his or her liking or event. Before a run, It is extremely important to get in a proper warm up with ample dynamic stretches without overdoing it, because overstretching can be worse than not stretching at all. If you are ever curious if what you are doing is a dynamic remember, “A dynamic warm-up is one that challenges every part of your body that you use to run.”2 By staying dynamic and thorough with your warm up you will be well on your way to spending less time in the training room, and spending more time on the medal stand.

1 Van Allen, J. (2013, May 22). How and Why You Should Warm Up Before A Run. Retrieved February 8, 2015, from

2 Stensland, J. (n.d.). Before You Run: The Dynamic Warm-Up. Retrieved February 8, 2015, from

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