5 simple warm-up exercises to help you run better

Regular runs are a great way to get your body’s fat burning process going, and are generally good for cardiovascular health. However, doing a run before you get warmed up might cause you to enjoy your run less, or even injure yourself during it. There are many types of warm-up routines you might have learnt, but here are five we recommend specifically for jogs, to get your muscles warm and supple before you hit the pavement!

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1. Squat and Heel lift

Running strains the leg muscles. Do this routine to help warm up your calves and hamstring muscle in order to get a bit more speed in the early part of the run. This benefit of making your run easier is definitely a good reason you should get your squats and heel lifts done.

2. Chest expanders

When doing chest expanders, focus on two things: The stretch of the muscles, and the depth of your breath. Chest expanders really help you to open up the lungs, especially if you’ve been spending the entire day hunched over a computer. Open your arms wide, and start pulling your arms backwards, while taking a deep breath. That initial rush of oxygen, and the loosening up of muscles in the chest region, will help you with oxygen intake over the course of the run.

3. Hip flexor stretch

You may not realise it, but when you run, your hips drive forward momentum. You may realise that your hips sway a little more as you go through your run, and that means that your flexors are being stressed. You may have heard of those who over-pronate their hips and feel pain afterwards – or perhaps you’re one of those who feel so. Some hip flexor stretches can help take the edge off post-run pain near your hip to quadricep region, and allows you to get back to 100% quicker for your next run.

4. Side shuffles

It’s good to get the blood pumping while you do your warm-ups. Some dynamic movements are always welcome before runs, and a side shuffle is perfect for this. You start by stepping to your left side, and then shifting your right foot in the same direction. Keep going left for 20 metres, then change direction for the same distance. You can start slow, but remember to ramp the speed up and get some speed into your shuffles.

5. Skip walk

End your warm up with a brisk skip-walk. Start by taking large steps, then slowly pick up the tempo and start skipping as you walk. Aim to skip as high and as far as possible to maximise the effect of this warm-up. Do this for 20 to 25 metres, before you slow down and get ready for your run.

Remember…

Your warm-up should be complemented by good running posture! Keep your back straight, eyes forward and arms by the side. Take small, measured steps and regulate breathing so that you don’t pant. You should slowly get comfortable with running as you do it more often, so don’t give up!

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