Frequently, people want to know how long a warm-up should be before beginning their exercise program, and they also want tips on what is a good warm up.
If you have read my other blogs, then you know this is going to be a long answer, but it will provide excellent information.
Ask Yourself The Question:
What is your workout program working on, leg strength, flexibility, or endurance, etc? These are just a few examples of different workouts.
If you are working on increasing your endurance for running, you will want to warm up the muscles involved.
Active Running Stretches:
The muscle groups that I would actively stretch are the calf, quad, hamstring and upper extremities. To actively stretch, hold each one for 4-5 secs, then switch limbs and stretches.
There are many different stretches for each. However, I will suggest a few. Standing calf stretch, standing quad stretch, kneeling runners stretch, and overhead side stretch. These four stretches should take a few minutes if repeated 2 or 3 times.
Functional Exercises For Running:
You will want to do some Frankenstein’s (traveling kicks), squats, high knee marching with arm swings from front to back, and some abs. The Frankenstein’s are great to warm up your hamstrings, the squats for prepping the quads and glutes, marching for hip flexion and movement for your upper body, and abs, like sit-ups, to engage your core muscles while you run.
My suggestion is to repeat each exercise I mentioned for 3 sets of 10 repetitions. All four activities should take approximately 5 minutes.
Take an extra few minutes to warm up other parts that need your attention. If you are extra sore from a previous day of activity, then spend a little more time on those sore muscles.
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Foam Rollers Are A Must-Have Accessory:
I highly recommend using a foam roller for warm up and cool down. They come in different sizes and colors. Using the same example as above, use the foam roller on the front (quads and hip flexors), side (IT Band), back of the legs (hamstrings, glutes, and calfs). Try not to roll through the muscle groups to fast. There will be areas that will be painful. Roll slowly through the muscle and try resting and breathing on the area that is hurting.
My warm up’s last about 10 to 15 minutes depending on how sore I am from previous workouts. Take it slower on the days you are experiencing low energy, and be very efficient with choosing your warm up exercises.
If you have any further questions, feel free to email me!