Thursday Training Tip #8 : Dynamic Stretches for Runners
Dynamic stretching is the best way to warm up before running. Unlike static stretching, dynamic stretching includes movements more similar to running, which prime your neuromuscular system for the task ahead. Dynamic stretching raises your heart rate and increases blood flow to your muscles, which combined with running-like movements to increase range of motion helps to better prepare your body better for running than static stretching.
My personal routine of dynamic stretches and exercises takes me about 6 minutes to complete before my run. I do the following:
- walking lunges
- calf raises
- leg lifts
- leg swings
- torso twists
I do one set of each (10-12 reps) followed by another set of squats and walking lunges. This routine raises my heart rate, gets a good stretch through my legs and joints, and puts some warmth into my muscles, leaving my body and mind primed for my run. To complete my warmup I then run slowly for the first 5-10 minutes of my run, before building up my pace.
For some ‘how to’ on the above movements, here is a great video of dynamic stretches produced by Runners World:
Happy running everyone!