5 Best warm up exercises for Running

Feeling motivated for your run, you get out there and pain strikes? Or you pulled yourself off the sofa and get out but uh oh… pain strikes!

I am not a professional runner but I do love to get out for 30mins once or twice a week. As an Osteopath I see patients with running related injuries regularly. The main warm up routine I hear is “I stretch my calfs and go”. 

As we are coming into the winter months and gyms are closed, more of us are running outside. Which means we are more likely to have little niggles appear, whether this is down to uneven surfaces or faulting movement patterns. It’s important to prepare your muscles before running to avoid becoming injured and below are five of my favourite dynamic movements. 

One- Cat/ Camel: This is great for preparing the spine and working the diaphragm, which is major when we are about to partake in aerobic activity.

Two- Hip Flexor Stretch: Experiencing anterior hip pain? During running we are activating the hip flexors (TFL, rectus fermoris, Iliacus, psoas and sartorius) repeatably and overtime adaptive shortening can occur. Not to mention the side effects of a desk job and sub optimal posture.

Three- Hamstring stretch: Very similar to the Hip flexors, your hamstrings can become tight (hypertonic). So, this is one of my favourites.

Four- Thread the Needle: During the running movement there is a considerable amount of movement going through the mid spine and ribs. This exercise is fab for warming up our body for the rotational movement of our spines. 

Five- Calf Rocks: I would say that the biggest complaint from my patients that run is their calves. If you have tight calves then I hope you will really feel the benefit of this one. 

As I’m sure you noticed I don’t hold a stretch or lie down. They are dynamic movements not static and this is because we want to help increase muscle temperature and decrease muscle tension to prepare for movement. The reason I don’t lie down is because we want to start stimulating our nervous system to run, if I lie down I will probably stay there. 

I hope you enjoy my warmup exercises and they help you in your running and recovery. 

Take Care 

x

Jemma

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