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Warm-up Before Running – The Essentials

warm-up-before-running

You do not have to spend a lot of time warming up before the run, whereas spending some time doing the right warm-up before running can help. It will help make the most of the run and prevent injuries. It is good to get your blood pumping before the workout. For this, you need not carry high-intensity stretches or exercise. Light warm-up exercises like jogging is enough. If you wish to know the light warm-up exercises you can do before running, you are in the right place. We have covered everything you need to know about warm-up before running.

Benefits of Warm-up Before Running

A good and light warm-up widens your blood vessels, making sure that your muscles are supplied with enough oxygen before the intense workout. Warming up also elevates the temperature of the muscles for sufficient efficiency and flexibility. Light and slow warm-up raises the heart rate slowly and also minimizes stress on the heart at the time you begin your run.

Different Ways to Warm up Before Running

Let’s get onto the main part of the article – various ways to warm up before running.

Light-Jogging

Jogging for even 15 minutes will make your muscles active, increase the resting pulse, and make you ready to run. Brisk walking before the run can be effective as well. Running without a light jog would not be as efficient, as it should be. If you wish to do a walking warm-up, ensure to keep your pace faster than usual, and also swing your arms as you do while running. Jog until the motion becomes normal. Also, do not jog for too long because it can make you tired.

Butt-Kickers and High-Knees

For the high-knee exercise at a moderate pace, raise your knees in front of you as much comfortable as you are. On the other hand, butt-kicker is exactly the opposite. Extend your leg at the back as much as you can and try touching your butt. These two exercises are a great way to get hip movements that increase blood flow and also helps lubricate connective tissues.

Jump Skipping

You could do this exercise in place of the light jog for cardiovascular conditioning. Not just this, jump skipping will also engage your arms and body and prepare them for the run. While skipping,  ensure to keep the bodyweight on the balls of your feet, and the swinging movement should be done with your wrist and not shoulders or arms.

Arm Circles

This warm-up exercise targets the upper back and chest. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift the arms to shoulder level, keeping your palms down. Start rotating your arms in a circular motion for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, change the direction and continue for another half a minute.

Jumping jacks

This warm-up exercise can be done anywhere. Ensure not to take this exercise lightly and maintain a firm body structure before starting. Make sure your shoulder blades are back, spine straight, and arm extended.

Squats

This exercise engages glutes and quads. Ensure to check your form because the wrong form can be harmful. Make sure your feet are shoulder-width away and palms pointing forward. While doing squats, stand straight with your shoulders back.

Lunges

Lunges are an excellent way to warm up before running. In the beginning, start with 10 to 20 lunges with shorter steps and gradually increase the range of motion. After you are comfortable with the forward lunges, try making the backward and side lunges as well.

How to Prevent and Treat Shin Splints During Running?

Shin splints are quite common but also preventable with extra care. Follow the tips mentioned below:

Gradually Increase Your Speed

Do not push yourself too hard, particularly when you are starting through because that will lead to shin splints. Start with a walk-run and then gradually increase your speed up to the level you wish to. Ensure to increase the speed and distance by 10% every week.

Short Stride

You may be thinking of taking a wide stride, but this puts pressure on the legs and the chances of shin splints. It is common to take a long stride at the end of the workout to reach the finish line.

Ice the Painful Area of Shin Splints

Even after taking all the safety measures to prevent shin splints, you may end up with it. What to do in that case? Ice your shins for 10 mins, 5 to 7 times a day. Also, if the pain is unbearable, you can consult a doctor for over the counter painkillers.

Tips for Effective Warm-up Before Running

If you want to benefit from warm-up before running, we recommend these tips:

  • Target the muscles you need for your race. For instance, a marathon will need a different warm-up when compared to 10k.
  • Finish your warm-up just when the race is about to begin. This is because after a 45 minutes break between the warm-up and the race, your muscle temperature starts slowing down, and the effects of the warm-up decrease.
  • The time duration of the warm-up depends on the race. The shorter and intense it is, the longer your warm-up should be.
  • Do not begin with jumping exercises. Increase the intensity gradually.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Essential to Warm up Before Running?

An active warm-up before running is essential because your body raises muscle temperature, thus increasing the body temperature.

How Long Should You Warm-up Before the Race?

Warming up before running activates your muscles. The time duration depends on various factors, for instance, the shorter and intense the workout, the longer should be your warm-up.

What Happens If You Do Not Warm up Before Running?

Warm-ups are important as they activate your muscles. No warm-ups mean you are increasing the risk of injury, and you may also not benefit from the run. It is a way to tell your body that it needs to be active for intense movements.

What Foods Should a Runner Avoid?

Here is the list of foods runners should avoid

  • Fried food
  • Alcohol
  • Diet soda
  • Cookies
  • Candies
  • Full-fat dairy
  • Saturated and trans fat

Warming up is beneficial, but you can skip stretching to prevent muscle soreness post-run. We hope our guide on warm-up exercises before running and its importance helps you have a good run.

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