Running is one of the most fulfilling hobbies especially considering the fact that it is almost therapeutic in nature. It provides immense comfort and relieves the burden you have been most obviously carrying. Running essentially allows you to channelize your anger, frustration and all things negative and leaves you with pure peace and contentment. Any athlete will tell you the obvious significance of a good warm up before engaging in the sport. Running too requires some amount of warm up which most people tend to easily ignore. A good warm up routine for running allows your body to get used to the movement and effort you are about to engage in. Stretching would be one of the best ways for you to warm up before an activity. It evidently improves your blood circulation, loosens your muscles and increases your range of motion.
Although highly underestimated, much like other sports, stretches and warm up routine for running form the basis for running. You can generally begin by walking for 10-15 minutes before you start the run. You can also consider 100-150 meter strides along with the walk. Other than these, there are the obvious stretching techniques. These allow your muscles to loosen and get used to the activity which reduces the pain in the longer run.
Skipping your warm up routine is one of the 12 Running Mistakes You Should Not Be Making .
Five Types of Warm up Routine for Running
The five exercises that will help you perfectly warm up before the run include:
1. Forward Lunges
Lunges are your basic level exercise. This is essential because it allows your body to get into an exaggerated running position, allowing the loosening of the exact muscles that would be used during the run. You can either use barbells or try it free hand. In the case of free hand, keep both your hands on your waist and stand straight.
Place your right foot forward and gradually bend your right knee so that it is at an angle of 90 degrees to the ground. Hold the position for 3 seconds before standing back up. Repeat the exercise with your left leg. For a beginner, repeat this exercise 10-15 times.
2. Leg Extensor and Hip Extensor Stretch
Leg extensor exercise majorly targets the quadriceps muscles in your legs. You can try walking backward on a treadmill to achieve this. Alternatively, sidestep onto a slightly raised platform. Repeat this 10 times before moving on to the next leg. You may increase the number of sets as you advance.
For your hip extensor, you can choose between the standing and sitting versions. This mainly strengthens your lower body and stretches the appropriate leg muscles before the run. For the sitting version, sit with your right leg outstretched and bend the knee of your left leg and place it on the inner thigh of the right leg.
Now lower yourself and reach out with both hands for the outstretched leg. Hold the position for 20 seconds and repeat with the other leg. The standing version requires you to stretch your leg and keep it on a small stool. Keep the knee as straight as possible as you reach for the leg with both hands.
3. Bridge Exercise and Plank
The bridge exercise enhances your core and strengthening the back of your legs. Lie on your back and keep your hands straight. Raise your hips so that your neck shoulders and hips are aligned in a straight line. Hold the position for 20 seconds. Repeat this exercise 5-6 times.
To do a plank, lie down on your back. Support your weight on your elbow and lift your entire body up to your ankles. Make sure your posture is straight. Hold the position for 10-20 seconds. Repeat this for 5-6 times.
4. Mountain Climber
Lie straight on your back. Lift your body up by supporting the weight on your palms. Bend your right knee and press it as close to your chest as you can. Make sure your right foot does not touch the ground. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds. Repeat the same with the left leg and perform this exercise 5-6 times. This loosens your leg and thigh muscles.
Lay on your front. Maintain a straight posture. Slowly lift your arms and legs off the floor while supporting your body weight on your torso completely. Hold this position as long as you can. Repeat 5-6 times. This exercise loosens muscles majorly to be used for the run.
After performing the warm up routine for running exercises, take a break. Sit in a relaxed position for about 10 minutes before you go for the run. This allows your body to relax and prevents any exhaustion you might experience. Continue this routine for about a week before the run to get used to it. In case you feel drained, consider taking the exercise slow and increase the difficulty level gradually as you advance. They are only aimed at improving your running experience and not taking over it.
So put on your running shoes and let yourself go. Have fun!