It’s important to do at least 10 minutes of stretching before any strenuous physical activity, like weight training or running. Warm up exercises help prep the muscles for the strains of working out. These exercises also reduce injuries. Wondering what warm up exercises to add to your fitness repertoire? These pre-run warm up exercises will do wonders for the whole body:
For an invigorating run, you want to keep the quads activated and the hip flexors open. You can do that by performing 10 reps of lunges. Stand with your feet together. With your left leg, take a giant step; keep the thigh parallel to the ground. Lower yourself down until the back leg is almost touching the floor. Slowly, bring yourself up and stretch the left leg. Now, continue by alternating to the right leg.
2. Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
This is an excellent pre-run stretch! It will effectively open the hip flexors and stretch the leg muscles deeply. To perform this warm-up exercise, assume the lunge position with your front knee at a 90-degree angle. Straighten the back leg but keep the front knee aligned over the toes. Raise the arms over your head and hold the position for a few seconds. Release and continue, picking up the tempo as you go. Shift your weight forward as you raise the arms up and down to go back to the starting position.
3. Side Stretch
Aches and pain are common among runners, but the pain on the sides is the most mysterious of all. There’s no explanation why runners feel a sudden, sharp pain on the sides of the torso. The side stretch helps open up the hip flexor and reduce inexplicable pain on the sides while running.
To perform this exercise, stand up straight with your feet together. Bring the arms over the head while pulling the abdominal muscles. Lean to the right by bending the hips sideways, pause for a few seconds then to the left.
4. The Pigeon Pose
This warm up exercise will give the glutes and iliotibial bands a good, effective stretch! To perform the pigeon pose, fold the right knee in front of you on the floor so the knee is pointing out slightly. Extend the left leg behind you, but keep the leg as straight as possible. Keep the hips level as you stretch the legs. To achieve an even deeper stretch, twist your upper body to the left and right.
5. Hip Circle
This is an easy stretch exercise that will open up the hip joint and warm up the lower body muscles before a good run. To perform the hip circle, stand up straight and put your hands on your hips. Start swaying the hips in a slow circle as if you are using a hula-hoop. Start with a small circle gradually making larger rotations. Do at least 6 rotations on the right then another set of 6 on the left. To deepen the stretch, pause for several seconds during the first half of a rotation.