warmup

Importance of a Dynamic Warm-up

Bye-bye-bye static stretching, and hello dynamic stretching! If you’ve read a few of my posts then you probably know how I feel about static stretching. Considering it can reduce performance and increase injury risk while presenting few benefits to runners, I’m not a fan – I’ll cover this more in-depth in an injury prevention series coming soon!

So, if you’re not supposed to stretch before a run, then what do you do? Well… it’s simple: a series of dynamic warm-up exercises that prepares your body to run.

Which if you think about it, static stretching doesn’t even accomplish what a good series of warm-up exercises should, like:

  • Increased heart rate and respiration (prepping your body for work)
  • Improved range of motion and lubricates joints
  • Increased capillary activation (fancy way of saying it’s delivering oxygen to your muscles)
  • More elasticity in your tendons and ligaments (reducing chance of tears)
  • Enhanced performance

That last point is what I really want to stress; I mean a simple series of warm-up exercises can help you run faster? Sign me up!

For some research behind this, in 2015 the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research published a study showing that male runners who were well-trained, run faster after a dynamic warm-up

Maybe more importantly, after years of evidence from runners (myself included) who have simply felt better after a dynamic warm-up, I’m a big believer in these types of dynamic warm-up exercises

Which brings me to share my favorite dynamic warm-up with you:

The Dynamic Sole Warm-up

This routine requires no equipment and can be done almost anywhere.

Since the routines in the Easy Injury Prevention for Runners (Coming Soon!) are all plays on the blog name, so is this warm-up.

Most of these exercises are done standing, so if you’re running a muddy trail, or from your car in the rain, just skip the first couple of exercises (Also, Q&A below!)

Below are instructions on how to complete the warm-up exercises in the routine (PDF w/ photos and instructions coming soon!).

#1. Hurdle Mobility:

In a table position – hands under shoulder, knees under hips – lift your leg so that your thigh is parallel to the ground and shin is at a 90-degree angle from your thigh. Make a circular motion with your knee like you’re moving your thigh over a hurdle.

The next movement is exactly the same, except in the opposite direction.

#2. Cross Over:

Lie in a supine position (on your back) with your arms out to your sides and swing your right leg across your torso up to your left hand. The goal is to keep your shoulder and chest as flat against the ground as possible. There will be a good amount of rotation in your torso and hips as you swing your leg toward your hand. Repeat the same movement for the left leg.

#3. Scorpion:

Lie in a prone position (on stomach) with your arms out to your sides and swing your right leg across your back up to your left hand. Keep your shoulders and chest as flat against the ground as possible. Like Cross Over, there will be a good amount of rotation in your torso and hips as you swing your leg over. Repeat the same movement for the left leg.

#4. Squat:

Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and your toes pointing straight ahead. It’s okay if your toes are pointing slightly outward. Sit back with your butt like you’re sitting down in a chair until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Drive your heels down and return to the standing position, ensuring your lower back stays in a neutral position.

#5. Walking Lunge

Step forward with your right leg, flexing the knees and dropping your hips. Descend until your left knee almost touches the ground. Drive your right heel into the ground and push yourself back to a standing position while taking a step forward. Repeat with the opposite leg. Maintain a tall posture, and ensure your knee does not go too far beyond the toes while lunging.

#6. Walking Leg Swings (Zombie Walk)

With your hands straight out in front of you (like a zombie!), swing your right leg up toward your right hand. Keep both knees as straight as possible, and repeat on the opposite side.

#7. High-knee Skips:

Skip forward and drive your right knee up so it’s about parallel to the ground and drive your foot back down to the ground. Alternate each leg. Keep you back ball with an exaggerated arm swing and make sure you don’t slam your feet on the ground.

#8. Side Leg Swings

While standing in front of a wall or pole for suppost, swing your leg parallel to the support so your foot comes up about hip level. Make sure to swing your leg fully extended but not forcefully locked.

Dynamic Warm-up Q&A

To help get you started, I answered some of the most common questions you have asked me regarding dynamic warm-ups, stretching, and when you should do these exercises.

When Should I do This Routine?

This is dynamic warm-up so it’s done before you run, preferably right before running.

If you are traveling somewhere to run (like so many of us do) and won’t be able to get on the ground to do the first couple of exerises, just do the floor exercises at home and the standing exercises when you arrive right before you start running.

How Many Times Per Week Can I do This Routine?

Personally, I consider this an “easy” warm-up routine, so it’s best used before short, easy runs.

For faster workouts, long runs, and other challenging runs (like races), I suggest a more standard warm-up (coming soon!)

Is The Order of Exercises Important?

Absolutely! The sequence goes from general to more specific (floor to standing); simple to complex.

One of The Exercises Causes Pain – What Should I Do?

Skip it. None of these exercises should cause any discomfort, pain (especially sharp or stabbing pain), or hurt in any way.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Avoiding Nasty Workout Injuries

Exercising is a great way to boost your overall fitness, but it isn’t always positive. There is a dark side of working out, and it is known as suffering an injury. Simply put, exercising places the body under a lot of physical strain, and the stresses can cause things to snap. When they do, it’s painful and very damaging to your health. Thankfully, they are avoidable as long as you follow a few simple rules. Even better, you can find a selection of them underneath.

Stretch Sufficiently

There is a difference between stretching and holding the stretch to give your muscles ample time to warm up. If you’re doing it as an afterthought, there is a good chance of an injury occurring. For starters, there needs to be enough strain to get the blood pumping around the body. The increased blood flow should heighten the muscles’ temperatures, and that will boost flexibility. Hopefully, this will be enough to prevent any unnecessary strain while you exercise. As a rule, there isn’t a one-size fit all policy regarding time, but 20-30 seconds is usually suitable. Also, don’t forget to target as many muscles as possible. The more you leave out, the higher the chance of a tear or sprain.

Cool Down

Almost everyone will warm up before working out, yet they won’t cool down. Now, copying the professionals is enough to put anyone off a cool down for life. The last thing you want is to jump in an ice bath after a ten-mile slog. However, their recovery process is a lot more advanced, and you don’t need to follow suit. In truth, a five to ten-minute walk which includes a couple of stretches should suffice. All you’re looking to do is replace the oxygen debt and lactic acid in your body. If they are present the next time you exercise, they could lead to a lot of pain.

Take PT Classes

‘PT’ stands for physical therapy and it might be the difference between substantial damage and staying injury free. You should know that PT isn’t only for people who need to recover from an injury. In fact, lots of people use it to avoid one in the first place as a weekly session acts as a safety net. The best physical therapist establishments all take on pre and post care patients, so there is no need to wait until it’s too late. The people that get ahead of it tend to avoid the nasty injuries which can sideline you for weeks and months.

Don’t Overload

In your quest to get fit, there is the temptation to take on too much work. Because having a rest day doesn’t feel productive, you might want to exercise every day. Although it’s commendable, it isn’t smart. Injuries happen because of wear and tear over time. By working out more, you’re increasing the tension that you put on the body.

The best option is to train hard over the course of a week, but take a rest day in between sessions. After all, the body needs to take a break too.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

The Dynamic Warm Up To An Explosive Workout!

Do you think of it as being an integral part of your workout, or do you quickly get it out of the way, or not even bother? The warm up is such an important part of your whole gym session, and if you just do a couple of stretches, maybe run on the treadmill for five minutes, and then start lifting heavy, you’ll set yourself up for a nice injury down the line. Bad warm ups will have a bad effect on your workout, because a few simple stretches relax your muscles and central nervous system, and will decrease your overall power. Warm-ups aren’t just about getting your body nimble, they are about aligning your posture, getting the blood flowing, and putting your joints through a dynamic range of motion, so you can lift those weights, kill those squats, or use your body to its full potential. Let’s do this!

Foam Rolling

The first thing to do is always to foam roll. It will remove all the knots and trigger points that build up in the body. It’s like a massage, and as time goes on, it will restore the natural length of your muscle. When you find a spot that’s tender, focus on that point for a while and let the roller do its work. Aim for eight to ten rolls for each part of the body, and then you can go onto the proper warm up.

The Supine Bridge

This will activate your glutes. Lie on your back, bend your knees (at around 90-degrees), and squeeze the glutes making sure you have your heels firmly down and lift the hips. Like the bridge move in yoga. Beware that if your glutes don’t have this strength right now, it’s important not to force your body up into the air. For an increased range of motion, you can spend time using stretching machines and foam rolling for a longer period of time. Make sure to repeat this 10 times, and don’t use your hamstrings for support; it should come from the glutes.

Quadruped Extension Rotation

This will help to counteract your bad posture and increase mobility in your thoracic spine. Get down on all fours, keep your left elbow locked in place but put your right hand behind your head. Use your right elbow to reach to the sky, and you’ll feel a stretch in your thoracic spine. Be sure to look at your elbow throughout the move. Repeat 10 times before switching sides.

Rocking Ankle Mobilization

As many problems begin with the ankles, this move should form part of your warm up every time. Get in a pushup position and lift your hips. Put your left shin over your right calf, and rock your hips, all the while trying to press your right heel down into the ground. Repeat 10 times switch sides.

Scapular Wall Slides

Stand with your shoulders, head, and glutes against the wall; press your forearms against the wall. Squeeze the glutes and press your lower back against the wall.

As a dynamic warm up, this beats the ones you learned in school!

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Error: Access Token is not valid or has expired. Feed will not update.
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

There's an issue with the Instagram Access Token that you are using. Please obtain a new Access Token on the plugin's Settings page.
If you continue to have an issue with your Access Token then please see this FAQ for more information.

Latest from Instagram

Copyright © 2018 · Theme by 17th Avenue