It’s time again for the monthly workouts for runners round up, in which I, Angela, Allie, Laura, Nellie and Sarah share workouts for runners based on a monthly theme. This month we have five great dynamic warm up workouts for you, not six, as Sarah is busy prepping for the Run Rise Retreat this week (you can follow the account on Instagram to see what happens when a bunch of women running bloggers get together for the weekend!).
So – dynamic warm ups…what are they? Do you need to do them? And why?
Honestly, I think warming up is one of the most discussed and least performed aspects of running. There are plenty of people who count their first mile as their warm up, as the kinks get loosened out of their running form. There are lots of people who do static stretching before their run or race, thinking that stretching their muscles is a good way to warm up. But most of our bloggers this month will tell you a dynamic warm up is the best way to prepare your body for a run.
A dynamic warm up uses dynamic exercises to warm up your muscles for movement. Unlike stretching, which lengthens your muscle fibers (not exactly conducive to having them do work), dynamic exercises activate the muscles used in running, as well as increasing blood flow, lubricating your joints, elevating your heart rate and raising your body temperature. Dynamic warm ups can be done quickly, in 5 or 10 minutes, and can even be followed with some strides before getting to your running workout for the day. As well as being the best way to prepare your body for running, they are also important for injury prevention.
When Should You Do a Dynamic Warm Up?
Before every run, is the short answer, but there are times they are more important than others.
- When it’s cold outside. Cold temperatures outdoors mean your muscles will take longer than usual to get warm when you go running. Do a variation of one of these dynamic warm up workouts before you head out, when you’re still indoors in the warmth.
- When you have a tough workout. Ideally, you would warm up even for a long run, or a recovery run. But when you’re asking your body to do something especially challenging, like an interval workout, or running hills, you’ll get your best results when you’ve prepped your muscles with a dynamic warm up.
- Before a race. The shorter the race, the more important your workout becomes. You want your muscles to be firing and ready for the first step across the line. In bigger races, you will likely find yourself stuck in a corral waiting for the start, so do your dynamic warm up and some running, then when you get into your corral take some of the exercises from one of these workouts that you can do in one small space.
Do one set of each of these movements in order, either 1 minute each, or 15 repetitions of each. That makes this a very short (six minutes at most!) warm up you can easily do before every workout. Once you’re stuck in your corral before a race, you should have room to continue with some knee hugs, butt kicks and possibly the lateral lunge leans.
In a standing position, raise one knee up and reach your hands to grab your shin as you pull your knee into your chest. Alternate sides.
This is like an exaggerated running stride – From standing, lunge one leg back, then drive your knee up as you pull your opposite elbow in to meet it.
Like running in place, except you are kicking your heels up behind you, as if you were trying to kick your own butt. 🙂
Rest a hand lightly for balance on a tree or a fence, then swing your straight leg back and forth, using momentum and getting your hips warmed up. You can also do some lateral leg swings, again swinging your straight leg from side to side in front of your standing leg.
LATERAL LUNGE LEANS
Get into a lateral lunge position, then lean into a lunge on the other side and back to the start. Continue alternating between sides, really engaging your glutes.
Lunge one foot back and across behind you, alternating sides. If you’re feeling warm by now, you can also add in a little hop between sides to raise your heart rate.
But no need to get bored with just one dynamic warm up routine! Try one of the other fantastic workouts in this month’s round up!
First up check out Laura’s full body dynamic warm up:
Nellie has a great workout designed to engage your glutes:
Allie is dropping a bombshell about dynamic warm ups on her blog. You don’t want to miss it! And I can’t NOT mention her killer shoulders in this pin:
And finally Angela give you a warm up to get you ready to race:
Okay, spill – do you do dynamic warm ups before running or racing? What exercises do you incorporate?