Running is one of the best ways to get a good workout. Everything from the legs, arms, thighs and some internal muscles are put to work when running. But one the ways to make a running workout even better is to have a proper warm up session.
A lot of injuries in exercising can be prevented simply by warming up and stretching. Jumping into a workout routine without a proper warmup could cause a runner to inadvertently pull a muscle, or suffer a similar injury, which can be quite painful.
Check out the following highly recommended warmup exercises by sports medicine professionals.
- Stretches: This classic warmup is a must for almost any type of physical activity. According to professional athletes, it is especially good for runners because it prevents the many muscles that are being worked from being pulled. Here are some short steps for conducting a good runner’s stretch.
- Sit on the floor upright. Engage ad muscles while on the floor.
- Straddle the legs.
iii. Reach out to the right leg as far as possible, stretching arms and back, for several seconds. Keeps legs flat.
- Lunges: Lunges are a great warmup workout for runners because it engages the legs before that heavy 1 mile run. Lunges stretch the legs and thighs out, since these are the muscles and limbs doing much of the work during a run. Professional marathon runners and football players are often seen on TV doing lunges before their runs.
- Repeat for the other leg.
- Stand shoulder-width apart.
- Engage the core and tuck the butt in.
iii. Bring one knee to the chest while standing straight.
- Walk: A walk outside or even around the house, going up and down stairs, is another great warmup for runners. Sports medicine professionals say this should be done before exercises because it works almost all the same muscles as running does. There really are no steps for walking but walking in certain places may enhance the warm up.
- Bring that knee down to the ground, lowering the body and stretching the other leg. This is a lunge position.
- Repeat with the opposite knee.
- Walk up and down stairs.
- Walk up and down a hill.
iii. Walk sideways and/or backwards quickly.
- Leg Lifts: Leg lifts are another effective way to warmup before a run. This warmup engages the legs a lot more than any other muscle. Doctors recommend leg lifts because of the increased blood flow it gives the legs.
- Stand straight.
- Stretch one arm out straight.
iii. Bring the leg on the same side as the stretched arm to the hand or as close as possible. Then bring the leg down.
- Repeat with the oppose arm and leg.
- Toy Solider Walk: The toy solider walk is simply leg lifts engaged in a walk. This enhances the leg lift warmup even more because the runner is utilizing mobility and is engaging more muscles.
- Repeat the steps for the leg lifts listed above.
- When lowering a leg, step out and then repeat the warmup with the opposite leg. Then step out with that leg.
For more information on effective warm-up exercises or to view our collection of exercise videos visit, http://www.physicalrehabstl.com/exercise-videos.