12: Tuesday Topics | How do you warm up for a run?

I am linking up with  Kookyrunner and Zenaida  for Tuesday Topics again this week and we’re talking about how we warm up before a run. 

I know, many think of a run as a ‘warm up’ for other sport activities. I definitely have done ‘warm up runs’ when I played tennis, softball, and other sports in College. However, it’s very advisable to warm up your body before you head out for a run, if that’s your main workout. It doesn’t have to take long. A quick 3- 5-minute warm up routine has proven itself enough for me to prepare my body for the run.

I usually do a combination of different dynamic warm up moves. I opt for warm up exercises that can be done standing up, because I often warm up outside where I can’t really lie on the ground or do any exercises that require a mat.

High knees: Walk in place but bring your knees up so that your thigh is parallel to the ground.

Reverse lunge to knee raise: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step back with your right foot. Bend both knees, lowering yourself until your right knee is about 6 inches off the floor.Push off your right foot to stand up, and bring the knee out in front of you at a 90-degree angle. Immediately step your right foot back into another reverse lunge.

Squats: Place your feet shoulder-width and clasp fingers in front of your chest. Sit back and down like you’re sitting into an imaginary chair. Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels, then push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position.

Torso twist: Standing with your feet hip distance apart and your knees slightly bent, simply twist your torso to the right and then to the left. Rotate at your waist to loosen up the torso, spine, core, shoulders and arms, being sure to keep your lower body still.

Arm circles: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms by your sides. Slowly swing your arms forward in a circular motion. The reverse and swing backwards.

Butt kicks: Jog in place and make sure you kick your glutes with your feet.

Hip rotation: Standing on one leg, raise one knee to 90 degrees. Circle the hip out, making a big circle with your knee. Make the movement as wide as you can while staying stable. Switch legs.

Ankle rotation: Stand on one leg. On the lifted foot, point your toes up toward the ceiling and move your ankle/foot in a clockwise direction.  Reverse direction and switch feet.

Straight leg lateral swing: With your hands on a wall, keep your right leg straight and swing it back and forth across the front of your body. Switch sides.

Straight leg forward swing: Stand near a wall and hold on lightly for balance. Swing each leg front and back (with feet parallel to the wall). Switch legs.

There are many, many more exercises, of course, but this is a list of exercises that I pick from regularly.

What are your favorite warm up exercises?

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  1. Squats! That is a great idea, I completely forgot about those. And you’re right, warming up only takes a few minutes and is soooo important!
    I never used to warm up and paid for it dearly with an injury. At least I learned my lesson now.

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  2. Yes, we do a lot of the same warm-up moves ;-) I really appreciate taking a few minutes to warm-up, literally, everything in the winter before hitting the street. The cold air makes me feel stiffer than usual, and I need to have my wits about me (and my reflexes!) in case there’s any slick spots that catch me off guard.

  3. I definitely try to remember to warm-up. I’m better at it some days than others. When I go to the gym, I walk in over a half mile from my car so then I just do some of the leg swings and stretch my quads/calves. But, I also use the first half mile or so to slowly ease into my running pace. And if I’m doing speed work or a tempo run then I do a longer warm-up and cool-down.

    When I run straight out the door from my house, I’m much worse at doing a warm-up. Though I always do the leg swings and calf/quad stretches. For me, the bigger part is making sure I stretch after I run. And my most important stretch is a pigeon pose to really stretch my hips/glutes.

  4. I love the leg swings! Isn’t it nice when something that’s good for your body actually feels good too?

  5. I also love doing leg swings to help open up my hips before a run. I need to do more butt kicks – thanks for the reminder :)

  6. I definitely need to be better about my running warmups!

  7. Back in my running days, I was always really bad about warming up. These are great exercises to start with!

  8. I never warmed up before a run when I was consistently running! I was just start off at a slower pace until my body had warmed up. I know that’s probably not advised but I guess it worked out ok!

  9. One of the reason I didn’t like to warm up is because I thought it would take too long. I just want to get out there, do my run, and come back to get ready for work. :-) But you are right in that it only take a few minutes. I must remember that!

    Thanks for linking up with us!

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