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What Makes A 'Good' Warm Up for a Run?

running Apr 22, 2021

Running requires the entire body to be moving, functioning and performing. Whether you’re taking a jog around the block, training for a half marathon or participating in a 100 miler, what you do for your warm up can help set you up for a successful and enjoyable run rather than dreading the miles ahead.

So, what makes a ‘good’ warm up?  You may be asking yourself - what’s the secret sauce to the pre run movements to prevent injury, improve performance and most importantly for you to ENJOY your run. 

As fellow runners we realize that some days we don’t have a lot of time to “warm up” before a run and it turns into a few leg shakes, arm circles and using the first few minutes of the run as your warm up. We get it, making space in our schedules to exercise let alone have a warm up can seem challenging. But we want to encourage you to try out these 3 strategies of what makes a ‘good’ warm up for your next run. 

  1. Targeted Movement and Mobility
  2. Muscle Activation Exercises
  3. Breathing 

Our first two strategies are to complete Targeted Movement and Mobility & Muscle Activation Exercises.  When running we want to ensure the joints that should be mobile and moving well are and the joints and surrounding muscles and soft tissue structures that provide stabilization are doing their job as well.

We combine these as many of the mobility drills you are doing can be done simultaneously or in combination with the muscle activation exercises. Below we have links to an example of a 5 Minute Warm Up for Runners and a 10 minute running warm up for runners. Both require no equipment and are effective and efficient in warming up your body for your run. 

5 Minute Runners Warm Up 

 
 
 
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10 Minute Runners Warm Up 

 
 
 
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The third strategy is Breathing. 

Now you might be thinking, I’m always breathing, what does this have to do with a pre run warm up?  It actually has a lot of benefits for a better run. Implementing a good breathing session before your run can improve oxygen delivery, blood chemistry and energy levels. At Inside Out we like to focus on functional and efficient breathing patterns because it can change your state, mentally and physically. 

Give this breathing sequence a try before your next run and let us know how your running experience goes!

  1. Take three quick, powerful inhalations through your nose without exhaling, progressively filling your lungs. Focus on expanding your lower ribs and abdomen while keeping your shoulders still.
  2. Exhale through your mouth. This three inhales/one exhale should take no more than two seconds. Repeat 20 times.  
  3. After the last exhale, hold your breath.
  4. Once you feel the need to breathe repeat steps 1-3.
  5. Finish with deep, calming breaths. Now you’re ready to run!

If you’re experiencing pain or limitations from returning to running or reaching the mileage you want to be training we encourage you to reach out. Your body is meant to move and we want you to feel strong and confident with whatever you choose to do to stay active. 

Most people don’t know how to stay healthy and fit without getting hurt. At Inside Out Strength and Performance, we provide a clear plan to get you in the best shape of your life, without getting injured, so that you can be active and confident that you’ll feel your best for years to come.

We help North County San Diego’s active adults and runners dealing with pain or injury get back to living a pain-free, strong, and confident life.

We are the strength docs who help active adults and runners live a strong, confident, and pain-free life.

Request a free a Free Discovery Visit With One of Our Specialists to want a clear idea of what’s going on, and clear advice on a long lasting solution. This gives you a chance to speak with one of our Doctors of PT face to face to find out how your issue can be resolved without drugs or surgery.

Frustrated with your current care or dealing with a pain or injury that just won't go away? Talk with one of our Docs today to find out the best way to get back to your best self.

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