The traditional thought process is to have a big stretch prior to running. Scientific research has indicated that static stretching does not reduce the risk of injury during performance.
Therefore, range of movement exercises prior to training is more important. Additionally, myofascial release (foam rolling) is also crucial before going for your run.
Aim of the Warm Up
To prepare the body for running and allow the hip, knee, and ankle joints to increase range of motion and increase blood flow.
1. LIGHT 200-400m JOG
Starting out with a light jog is a great way to get the blood flowing.
2. HIGH KNEE
March along a 30m track elevating your knee nice and high whilst keeping your upper body neutral.
3. OPEN GATE
Along a 30m track, complete a high knee and externally (outwards) rotate your leg to 90 degrees and lower.
4. CLOSE GATE
Along a 30m track, with your leg starting at 90 degrees, lift your knee & internally (inwards) rotate your leg to the front of your body.
5. FOAM ROLL ILIOTIBIAL BAND (ITB)
Roll along the side of your leg between the knee and hip, making sure you roll the full length of the ITB. Then roll across the ITB side to side (shearing motion).
6. FOAM ROLL QUADRICEPS
Using the Foam Roller:
- Roll along the front of the thigh from the hip to the top of the knee.
- Roll across the quad (shearing)
- With the front of the leg lying on the foam roller, kick your heel back towards your bottom and release back.
The Final Word
By adding these simple exercises to your pre-run routine you will help the body prepare for strenuous exercise.