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Try These Dynamic Warm-Ups

Try These Dynamic Warm-Ups
Does warming up and stretching mean the same thing? The two are often thought to be interchangeable, but when it comes preparing for exercise they have very different function. Clarifying the difference between the two could be the difference between suffering a running injury and staying healthy. Based on the scientific evidence, a dynamic warm up is better suited for preparing your body to run. So, as promised here is a sample of a dynamic warm up.

The Dynamic Warm-up

  1. Spend 10 min working through the dynamic stretches as shown below. Finish no more than 5min before the start of your run
  2. Intensity: This should be enough to elevate body temperature but not fatigue you before the race. On a 10 point scale (from least to most effort) that's about 4-6/10 for beginners and 7/10 for Intermediate runners.
  3. Optional: Run up to six 100m strides before the start of the run

Butt
Kicks

  • Similar to running in place, kick your heels back until they touch the buttock
  • Alternate kicking back your heels
  • Total repetitions: 20X on each side

Repeat
20x
per side


Pike
Stretch

  • Position yourself face down, on your hands and toes with your hips in the air
  • Alternate pressing the heal of the each foot down toward the ground one side at a time
  • Total Repetitions: 20X on each side

Repeat
20x
per side


Hacky
Sack

  • Begin in a standing position
  • Lift your knee and swing your foot toward the opposite hand
  • Return to a standing position
  • Total Repetitions: 10X on each side

Repeat
10x

per side


Toy
Soldier

This exercise is performed while walking:

  • While marching, reach out and touch your toes with every step
  • A slight knee bend is allowed
  • Total Repetitions: 10X on each side

Repeat
10x

per side


Walking
Lunges

  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tight take a long stride forward
  • Next, lower your body by dropping your back knee down towards the ground.
  • Repeat by standing up and taking a stride forward leading with the back leg
  • Total Repetitions: 10X on each side

Repeat
10x

per side


A-skips

This exercise is performed with a skipping motion:

  • Bend your knee and lift as high as possible while swinging up the opposite arm
  • Simultaneously add a hop to your step
  • Total Repetitions: 20X on each side

Repeat
20x

per side


Forward
Leg Lifts

  • Stand tall with your core muscles tight and swing your leg forward and back using only the hip joint
  • Begin with small swings and make them larger as you feel more comfortable
  • Focus on not bending at the waist
  • Total Repetitions: 10X on each side

*Note: Feel free to hold something or someone for balance

Repeat
10x

per side



Sideway
Leg Lifts

  • Stand tall with your core muscles tight and swing your leg side to side using only the hip joint
  • Begin with small swings and make them larger as you feel more comfortable
  • Focus on not bending at the waist
  • Total Repetitions: 10X on each side
    *Note: You can use something/someone to help you balance

Repeat
10x

per side


Side Steps

  • This exercise is similar to the A-skips but done side to side
  • Drive the knee up and jump to the other side of the marker
  • Jump back to return to the starting position
  • Total Repetitions: 10X on each side

Repeat
10x

per side


Super Man

  • Plant one foot on the ground and raise the opposite leg behind you
  • Lean forward at the waist so that your trail leg is parallel with the ground
  • Return to a standing position
  • Repeat 10X on each side

*Note: Hold out your arms to help with balance

Repeat
10x

per side


The Cool Down

An easy way to cool down after a run is simply walking briskly for 5-10 minutes. Secondly, if you don't have time for dedicated stretching sessions during the week, post-run stretching is a great option. This is a good way to maintain flexibility across your joints and may help reduce injury and improve performance over the long term.

  1. Perform each of these stretches for 20-30seconds, 1-2 times after your run
  2. Intensity: Hold your stretch at the point where you feel a strong pull, not pain. After a few seconds of holding this position push further into your stretch, as long as it is comfortable. Stretching should never be painful
  3. Do not bounce at the end of your stretch. This can cause damage to your muscle and actually decrease your flexibility in the long term

Hamstrings Stretch

  • Grasp your thigh with interlocked fingers
  • Keeping the knee slightly bent, pull your leg toward your chest until you feel a stretch at the back of you thigh
  • Hold for 20-30seconds

Quadriceps Stretch

  • Stand tall with your abdominal muscles tightened to support your back
  • Next, grasp your ankle and pull your heel back until you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds then repeat on the opposite side

Calf Stretch

  • Use a sturdy surface for support and stand arm's length from it.
  • Bring one leg forward and take one leg back so that you are standing with a long stance as shown
  • Keeping the back heel flat on the ground, slide your rear foot backwards until you feel a stretch in your calf
  • Ensure that your toes are facing straight forward at all times
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds then repeat on the opposite side

Hip Flexor Stretch

  • Kneel on the left knee as shown
  • Keeping your torso tall and straight shift your body weight to the right foot until you feel a stretch in the front of your left thigh
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds then repeat on the opposite side

Gluteal Stretch

  • Bend both knees while your feet are on the floor.
  • Cross the left leg over the thigh of the right leg.
  • Grasp the back of your right thigh with interlocked fingers and pull towards your chest.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds then repeat on the opposite side

This warm up and cool down routine is only one example of how you can design your pre and post running routine - and you can adapt this for any sport. The idea is to prepare your body for sport using similar movements that will be used in the workout. Other than that be creative and keep moving!

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