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5 warm ups perfect before a run

March 20th, 2018 | by Events Staff
5 warm ups perfect before a run

Running… it’s one of the most likely ways for athletes to get injured. The biggest culprit for this is people doing the wrong kind of stretches, or in some cases, not stretching at all. Shin splints, pulled muscles, stiff joints… they can all be helped if you stretch before hand, and a smart warm up will gradually raise the heart rate, plus make you feel energised and fresh for longer. Some studies now suggest that holding a muscle in one position is linked to injury in runners, and so doing gentle, moving stretches can be better to get your body loose and ready to run. Here’s a list of some of the best ways to warm up, before you burn out.

Walking – Whilst it chips the distance off that route you’d planned, its a very important and gentle way to ease your body into moving. The muscles go through similar strains they do whilst running, and it gradually raises the blood flow, meaning you help to avoid those little twinges and cramps that catch you just as you’re getting into your flow. With warm muscles, you’ll be heading in the right direction when it comes to avoiding a few weeks on the sidelines. After 4 or 5 minutes walking, you can move towards running, and gradually pick up the pace.

High Knees – This exercise gets your glutes working. By lifting your knees right up as high as you can whilst jogging, you improve leg power and strength, which help with take off speed as well as with running technique. It also gives you a cardiovascular workout, and helps raise the heart rate up.

Side Steps – With your right foot forward, and your body side on to the direction you’re travelling, side step for 10 to 20 paces,  then switch your body so your left foot is forward and do the same thing. Keep alternating, gradually increasing the distance you’re travelling on each step. This is a great way to warm up your muscles, and work your way up to a regular jog.

Skipping – Reaching back to those school yard days, the humble skip can be a great way to get those muscles warm and stretch them out. It doesn’t have to be a marathon distance, just 50 metres or so will help you on your way. It may even bring back some feel good memories to keep you going.

Backward Jogging – I bet you didn’t see this one coming. Running backwards makes your brain think differently to just heading out the door and going. It’s effectively doing everything in reverse, and the twisting of your body to see where you’re going will help stretch a few extra muscles. Again, this doesn’t need to be for huge distances, it can just be for 25-50 metres at a time, but it all helps.

So next time you head on out for a morning run, or even a leisurely evening jog, remember to do a few if not all of these, and see if your performance improves.

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