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How to warm up for running

Posted on 27th June 2017 by

Many runners will head straight home from the office, pulling on their running gear and hit the tarmac, going from a sedentary 8 hours or more sitting at the desk straight into their evening run without so much as a brisk walk to wake up the muscles first.

Warming up before running is essential not only to reduce risk of injury but also to help maximise our training session so that we can work harder, for longer.

A good warm up should aim to prepare the body for exercise; it needs to be dynamic, cardiovascular and involve some balance or control work.

Dynamic

This means loosening up the joints and waking up the muscles that we are going to be using in sport.

Aim to do 30 secs – 1 min of each exercise.

Examples

Heel raise exercise

Heel raises

Knee lift exercise

Knee Raises

Heel flick exercise

Heel Flicks

Hacky Sacks Exercise

Hacky Sacks

Standing active trunk rotation exercise

Trunk rotations

Cardiovascular

By gradually increasing our heart rate and breathing rate we are pumping more blood and therefore more oxygen to our muscles to fuel them for the aerobic demands of our sport.

Examples

  • Brisk walk 1-2mins
  • Jog 1-2 mins
  • 5 x 100m ‘pick-ups’ – short bursts of increasing pace with 60secs rest in between

Motor-control

Exercises that stimulate our balance receptors to help prevent ligament sprains. Aim to do 20 of each exercise on both legs.

Walking Lunge Exercise

Walking lunges

Side shuffles Exercise

Side shuffles

Note: Static stretching is not recommended prior to exercise as it reduces the force output of our muscles and delays the activity of our balance receptors – actually making injury risk higher and performance lower. However it’s great to do these static stretches after running to cool down and prevent muscle soreness the next day.

Read More

Running Rehab Service

Warming Up For Sport

Running Injuries – The basic Principles

How to maximise your training time

Top tips for injured runners

 

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Warming Up for Sport: Things to Consider

Posted on 9th November 2016 by

Warming up for sport is important. It prepares you for the movements you intend to undertake, getting you ready to perform to your best from the offset. Exercise warm ups are intended to safely get us ready for sport and reduce the risk of injury.

Next time you’re warming up think of the following:

The movements of your sport: You want to replicate them in your warm up but at a lower intensity and building them in gradually. i.e. if your sport is weightlifting, you would begin with half squats, repeating several times and gradually increase the depth of the squat until you reach full squatting position.

Dynamic stretching: Your warm-up should include movements which will gradually stretch your muscles. The walking lunge is an example, starting with small lunges, repeating several times before increasing the stride length of your lunge. Static stretches where you hold a muscle in position should be avoided during the warm-up as these have been linked to injury.

Increase heart rate gradually: Start with gentle exercises which get the big muscles of the body going such as jogging. Then begin skipping or some gentle high knees exercises. Follow this by increasing the speed of each previous exercise. This will increase your heart rate steadily and safely.

Give your muscles time to warm up: Avoid trying to squeeze all your warm-up exercises into a 5 minute timeframe especially if you are going to engage in high intensity exercise. A typical football warm-up can take anywhere between 20 and 40mins.

Correct clothing: Make sure it’s flexible enough to allow you to perform all the actions you need without restriction. Make sure it’s warm or cool enough suitable for the conditions you will be in.