Dynamic Warm Up for Runners from Treble in the Kitchen

Can we talk about warming up today?  I’m sure you have all heard that completing a warm up is best before any workout.  While I know this to be true, I’m coming clean with all of you today and admitting that I haven’t always been the best at completing warm ups in my own personal workouts.  That being said, while completing this round of training for my upcoming half marathon, I have made sure to do a proper running warm up before my training runs.

Before running or completing ANY workout, it’s super important to prepare your body for the work ahead.  Based on the type of workout you will be doing and any injuries, muscular imbalances, or other variations your warm up may be slightly different.  Today, we will go over the basics for a warm up that is great for runners!

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Basics of a Warm Up

The entire warm up should make up 12-20% of the workout time, which means 8-12 minutes of an hour long workout.  A good warm up should be composed of:

  • 5-10 minutes of light cardio: This is the warm up, so it’s important to start slow and really ease into the activity and movement here.  This is where you can slowly bring your heart rate up.  This can be achieve by walking, jogging, using the elliptical, biking, etc.
  • Dynamic stretching:  This is active stretching rather than the kind where you sit and hold the position for several breaths.  This type of movement is meant to mimic the type of activity you are about to do and engage those specific muscles.  Because dynamic stretching focuses on properly engaging muscles at a slower rate prior to exercise, it is a highly effective way to prevent injury.  The stretches I am sharing with you are what I incorporate into my pre-running warm up.  They focus on the hips, glutes, hamstrings, low back, and core.
  • Self Myofascial Release (SMR):  This can be achieved through foam rolling, rolling on a tennis ball, lacrosse ball or something similar. For me, this part is optional at the beginning of a running workout and something I typically complete at the end of a run.  Many people successfully incorporate this in to help release knots and very tight spots, which can lead to improved mobility and quality of work.  Listen to your body on this one!

Dynamic Warm Up for Runners:

Equipment Needed: 

  • Just your body!

There are 5 exercises in this dynamic warm up.  Complete 10 repetitions on each side, for about a 5 minute warm up.  This does not include a light cardio start, so that is something you could do on your own!  I typically walk or jog at a very easy and comfortable pace before completing this warm up.

*As with any fitness class/program/workout, please make sure to modify as needed and check with your doctor if necessary!

Dynamic Warm Up for Runners from Treble in the Kitchen

Walking Hamstring Kicks:  Kick your right leg up towards your left hand, lower that foot down slightly in front of the other taking a step forward.  Make sure to pull the belly button into the spine to engage the core to help maintain balance. Repeat on the other side and complete 10 reps on each side.  This will open up the hamstrings and glutes.

Runner’s Lunge into Reverse Side Angle:  Begin on with your hands under your shoulders in plank position.  Bring your right foot up toward your right hand.  Lift your right hand off the ground and rotate your body to the side as you extend your arm straight up.  Lower your hand back to the ground and bring your foot back to starting plank position.  Repeat on the other side and complete 10 reps on each side.  Focuses on the hips and glutes. *This is one of my favorites!

Lateral Leg Swings:  Stand with both hands on something for support.  Extend your right leg out to the side, then swing it across and in front of your body then back out to the side.  Repeat 10 times and the complete on the other leg.  This focuses on the inner and outer thighs as well as the hips.

Front Leg Swings:  Place your left hand on a surface to help maintain balance.  Lift your right leg in front of your body then swing it back behind your body then back to the front.  Repeat 10 times on each leg.  This focuses on the hip flexors and the glutes.

Lunge with Upper Body Rotation:  Place your hands on your hips and begin standing with feet hip width apart.  Step forward with your right leg and rotate your upper body to the right.  Bring your right foot back to the starting position as you rotate your upper body back to a front facing position.  Repeat on the other side and complete 10 reps on each side.  This exercise opens the hip flexors, low back, and the core.

Dynamic Warm Up for Runners from Treble in the Kitchen

If you give this dynamic warm up routine a try, let me know!

Your turn:

  • How do you warm up before workouts?
  • Are you running a race or doing anything new-to-you in the fitness department this fall?
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  1. A great warm-up routine, thanks for sharing! This will be helpful to help shake up my usual warm-up – which is just different dynamic stretching than the exercises above. I often feel like I’m the only one who stretches before and after working out. Which surprises me because it feels soooooo guuud 🙂

  2. This was super helpful! I always try to warmup before a workout or a run, but sometimes i just have no idea what to do lol. Thanks for the inspiration!

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