Welcome to the latest edition of Workout Wednesday! Today I am sharing a quick warm up to try before your runs. It's important to prep your body for the workout, so if you have just been just jogging, walking or worse, no warm up at all, then I suggest this dynamic warm up to prime your body for running.
A dynamic stretch moves the joint through the full range of motion. This warm up increases blood flow, warms up muscles, improves hip mobility, core stability and balance. A quick dynamic warm up can improve performance and help prevent injuries.
LEG SWINGS FORWARD/BACK
Standing on one leg with your knee (ever so) slightly bent, engage your core and squeeze your glutes (butt muscles). With a straight leg swing your leg out in front, then behind. Repeat 10 times on each leg. If you have to hold on to something or touch your foot down to maintain balance it is ok at first, but work on building balance over time. Have a strong core and balance will benefit your running form and efficiency over the long term.
LEG SWINGS LATERAL
Standing one one leg with your knee (ever so) slightly bent, engage your core and squeeze your glutes. With a straight leg swing your leg out to the right then cross over the front leg to the left. Repeat 10 times on each leg. Work to build up balance over time.
Standing on one leg, bend your knee to 90 degrees and lift your thigh up until it is parallel to the ground. Engage your core and glutes. Rotate your hip out to the side then return to starting position. Repeat 8 times on each side.
WALKING HAMSTRING STRETCH
Standing on one leg, pull up the opposite leg and hug to your chest to stretch your hamstring muscles in the back of your leg. Hold the position for 2 seconds, lower your leg to step forward and repeat on other side. Walk forward bringing each leg to chest eight times. You could progress this exercise by performing high knees, quickly bringing your knees up alternating between right and left.
WALKING QUAD STRETCH
Standing on one leg pull your heel back until it touches your butt to stretch the quad muscles in your thigh. Keep your knees together. Hold for 2 seconds, lower your leg and repeat on other side while walking forward in a fluid motion. You could progress this exercise by performing butt kicks, quickly bringing your heel to your butt alternating between right and left.
WALKING LOW LUNGES
Step one leg forward into a low lunge while keeping the back leg as straight as possible. You'll notice when you straighten the back leg, you'll feel the stretch in your hip flexors, hold for two seconds. Keep your core engaged, your back straight and step the back leg forward to meet the front leg. Step forward with opposite leg and repeat eight on each side.
No, I didn't mean karaoke. I'm not going to make you sing or worse, listen to me sing. This is a fun drill to open up your hips before your run. I recommend doing it once slow and then again as quickly as possible.
Start with your feet about hip width apart, step your left leg behind, then bring your right leg in front so you return to hip width stance, then bring your left leg in front and right leg behind to return to hip width stance. Take 10 steps in one direction, then 10 steps in the other direction.
Finish off your warm up with high skips to get your heart rate up a bit. Drive your right knee and right arm up while skipping, focusing on moving vertically. Switch leg and arm moving dynamically through the motion eight times per side.
Ready to run? Do you warm up before you run? If not, will you start? Pinky swear?
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