If your pre-run warm-up typically consists of jogging – or worse, nothing – here’s reason to step it up. – By Cindy Kuzma
A recent study reveals that a dynamic warm-up routine can help you perform better. Researchers compared how well study participants ran after moving versus sitting. When runners did dynamic stretches, they were able to go almost two and a half minutes longer before they tired out compared to when they sat. The following routine is directly from the study. Do each move 10 times, moving through each rep quickly. It should take less than five minutes to complete.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Stand tall. Flex your hip and knee to bring your right knee up toward your chest as you swing your left arm forward. Lower to the ground, then repeat on the other leg.
Leg Flexor Stretch
Stand tall with your right arm forward. Bend your knee at a right angle in front of you, thigh parallel to the ground, as you swing your right arm back and left arm forward. Contract your quads to extend your leg straight out. Return to standing, then repeat with the other leg.
Leg Extensor Stretch
Tighten your hamstrings and bend your right knee behind you, bringing your heel toward your butt as you swing your right arm back and left arm forward. Straighten your leg, then repeat on the other side.
Plantar Flexor Stretch
Stand with your hands on your hips. Raise your right foot a few centimetres, keeping your knee straight. Quickly flex your foot, pointing your toes upward. Return to standing, then repeat with the other foot.
Hip Extensor Stretch
Hinge forward at your hips. Raise your right foot and bend your right knee in front of you while swinging your left arm forward as you would when running. From there, maintain the same lean as you quickly stretch your right leg behind you. At the same time, swing your right arm forward and your left arm back. Return your knee in front of you and repeat with the other leg.