Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve seen interest in all aspects of running rise by an impressive 200%. Everything from running apps to running shoes have been flying off the virtual shelves to ensure we get our daily allocation of exercise. It has been a good news story at a very challenging time.
To many of us, running or jogging seems the most natural thing in the world. Something we all do from time to time without really thinking about it. However, the reality is that it’s not quite as easy as just putting one foot in front of the other.
When we run, our hips and knees are exposed to a ground reaction force (GRF) of around 2.5 times body weight. The exact figure depends on many factors including biomechanics, as well as skill acquisition and efficiency of the runner, but with that kind of impact on the joints each time we hit the ground, you could be leaving yourself vulnerable to more harm than good without a thorough, appropriate warm-up.
With this in mind, Coach has devised this quick 5-10 minute, pre-run programme to help you reduce those potential risks and keep you on moving forward.
1 – Single leg swings
Stand on one leg and hold onto a support for stability, if needed. Swing the hanging leg forwards and backwards for 20 reps. Swap legs and repeat. You can progress this exercise by increasing the tempo and swinging without holding on to a support.
Why? – This movement is preparing and mobilising the hips whilst also reminding the hamstrings that they’re about to do some work.
2 – Standing on tip toes
Start in a standing position with feet together and hold onto a support for stability. Raise yourself up and down onto your tip toes for 20 reps. You can progress this exercise by increasing both height and tempo.
Why? – The plantar flexors, which enable the top of the foot to point away from the leg, work really hard to produce force and push you forward so you need to get them ready for your run.
3 – Jogging glute kicks
At a slow walking pace bring your heel up to your glutes. Aim for 20 reps on each side. You can progress this exercise by increasing both tempo and range of movement.
Why? – This exercise prepares the knees for the push off and recovery phase.
Finally, if you’re running for time then a light 5 minute jog should also be included as part of your pre-run warm-up.
Your improved health and fitness is our priority. Follow these simple yet highly effective exercises for the perfect warm-up, enabling you to run more efficiently and with complete peace of mind.