7 Dynamic Exercises To Do Before Running
As you know, we're asking this year 'Which Fit Are You In 2022? If you're looking to get Cardio Fit these 7 exercises are really going to help. Now, as much as the idea of going couch to 5k is inspiring, it isn’t always possible for everyone. It can also be the classic case of too much too soon. When it comes to your health and fitness it’s really important to start slowly and build your progression from there. Need some motivation and suffering from 'I'll Start Next Week Fit'? Check out the difference between outcome goals and behavioural goals here.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been joining my friend and fellow personal trainer Tyson Schubert on some Live Twitter Spaces with the STEPN community, catch them Thursday nights at 8:30pm. If you don’t know about STEPN yet, read all about their incredible Web3 Lifestyle App with Social-Fi and Game-Fi elements here. STEPN has a huge community that's passionate about moving for health and one of the recurring questions Tyson and I get is “how should I warm up before running’? Warming up before any exercise is super important but can often be overlooked due to time constraints. So if getting Cardio Fit is part of your fitness plans this year, here’s 7 dynamic exercises to do before running. These can be done on your yoga mat in the lounge room before jumping on your treadmill or heading outside for a jog.
The idea of this warm up is to keep a steady pace as you move through each dynamic stretch.
1 - Standing Knee Hugs
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Maintain a tight core throughout. Lift your left knee up and towards your chest whilst simultaneously driving your right heel off of the floor so that you're on the balls of your right foot. Hug the left knee tightly to the chest and release to the starting position. Immediately alternate with the opposite side, complete 10 each side.
2 - Supine Active Hamstring Stretch
Lie on your back, grasp the back of your left leg with both hands and hold your leg so that it's pointing straight up to the ceiling. Point the toes of your left foot towards you, lower the left heel towards your buttocks, and raise back to the starting position to feel a great stretch in the hamstring and behind the knee. Complete 10 each side.
3 - Hip extensions
Lie on your back with your knees bent, heels on the floor with toes up. Raise your hips so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Pause at the top then lower your hips back to the floor. Complete 10 repetitions.
4 - Kneeling Hamstring Stretch
Begin in a half kneeling posture by placing the left knee down directly under the hip and the right foot should be in line with the right knee, this will create the 90/90 position. Depending on the individual, the width of the front foot can be adjusted for balance. Place both hands on the floor either side of right foot and lift your hips into the air (like you're about to start a 100m sprint), keep the right heel on the floor but raise the toes up (this will release some hamstring tension) slightly straighten the left leg as you raise the hips up, return to the start position. You should feel the stretch in the top of the calf, behind the knee and lower hamstring. Complete 10 each side.
5 - Hamstring To Hip Flexor Stretch
Begin by kneeling on the left knee with the right leg extended forward, the right heel should be resting on the floor. Lean forward slightly at the hip whilst pushing your hips back lightly to feel a stretch behind the knee and hamstring. Then move the body forwards, bending the right knee as you do so, place the sole of the right foot onto the floor assuming the start of the hip flexor stretch position. Slowly drive the hips forward until you feel a comfortable stretch through the groin and top of the left thigh whilst opening the left hip flexor. If possible raise your left arm to the sky to feel a nice stretch down the left side from the lats into the hip flexors. Move through this flowing sequence at a nice tempo. Complete 10 each side.
6 - Side Lying T-Spine Rotation
While lying on your side, flex the top hip above 90 degrees with the inside of the knee resting on the floor. Support your head with a rolled towel if needed. The bottom leg should be laying straight. The bottom arm will hold the flexed knee, with the top arm extended out from the shoulder at 90 degrees with the palm facing down on the floor. Take a deep breath, eyes focused on the top arm. Rotate the hand and arm of the top shoulder toward the other side of the body, eyes following the hand as you go. Maintain contact with the knee and floor of the top leg as the upper body rotation occurs. Breathe our and let your breathing sink you further into the stretch while actively reaching. Move back to the start position. Complete 10 each side at a steady, continuous pace.
7 - Lateral Band Steps
Begin in an athletic position with your knees slightly bent, hips flexed, looking straight ahead. Place the band around your shoes so that it sits on your laces and under the soles. Start with the feet roughly shoulder width apart and step laterally. Keeping tension in the band at all times. Complete 10-12 steps in each direction.
As previously mentioned, the idea of this warm up is to flow through this as a continuous sequence and it should take roughly 6-8 minutes. It's a super effective way to dynamically engage the muscles you'll be utilising in a running session and also helps address any potential compensations/ imbalances that you may have. Happy STEPN and Running!
Simon has a Bachelor of Human Movement, is a certified FMS trainer and has worked in the fitness industry since 2003. Simon started his fitness journey as a trainer with iNform Health and Fitness before moving into commercial radio and then back into fitness with Bodyism in the United Kingdom and Australia. A career highlight was being one of Daisy Ridley's personal trainers on Star Wars IX - The Rise Of Skywalker.