Best Dynamic Warm Up Exercises For Runners – UPDATED
Running is tough on your body. The last thing any runner wants is an injury or to feel any pain. Dynamic warm up exercises boost your flexibility and help improve your range of motion. They are done with continuous movement, and they help prepare your body for the high physical demands of running.
In this article, you can learn more about the best dynamic warm up exercises for runners.
Dynamic Stretches Examples – Best Stretches For Runners
Let’s take a look at the best dynamic stretches examples that all runners should consider adding to their warm up routine.
Large Arm Circles
This first exercise is pretty easy to do from anywhere. It can help build muscle in your shoulders and biceps, and it gets your blood pumping. The move starts with your feet shoulder-width apart and you should stretch your arms so that they are parallel to the floor. You can then start circling your arms in a controlled manner. Start with small circles and gradually build them up. You can also alternate the direction of the circles.
To get your legs warmed up and ready for running, you can do some pendulums. You may need some support for this movement by leaning against a wall. Start by swinging your leg back and forth while keeping the other still. Swing around ten times before changing the leg. You can mix up this movement by swinging side to side.
This next stretch starts off with a light jog for around 3 seconds. Then you stretch out your quad by reaching behind one leg to grab your foot. Hold this position for 2 seconds and then start jogging again. Repeat this action with your other leg and complete the stretch around 5-10 times.
High Knee Pull
Another fantastic dynamic stretch is the knee pull. It will help stretch your glutes and quads. To start, you grab the knee of one of your legs and pull it in as far as you can without leaning back. Hold this for 2 seconds before returning the leg back down and switching.
This next exercise is similar, but as you may have guessed, it involves your ankle. Take a hold of your ankle with one hand and pull it back. However, be sure not to arch your back out. Hold the position for a few seconds and repeat with your leg.
March and Reach
For this next move, you will need to focus on keeping your core tight and squeezing your glute. This begins by balancing on one leg and bringing up your knee so that your thigh parallel to the ground. Then you reach toward the other leg with your arm. Hold the position for a few seconds and then switch over to the other side.
This next exercise is one of the best warmups for runners because it helps to stretch your calves and hamstrings whilst also boosting your core strength and shoulder stability. It begins with a high push up where you will need to keep your legs straight. Then you dig your heels into the ground and begin to walk forward toward your hands. Make sure your bag and legs remain straight. The walk should be done as slowly as possible, and your knees should not bend. You can then walk back slowly to the original push up position and repeat the exercise 5-10 times.
All of these dynamic stretches can be done fairly easily without the need for any equipment. But, it is important to start slow.
Benefits of Dynamic Stretching Before Running
A crucial aspect of any dynamic warmup is dynamic stretching. The main difference between typical stretching and dynamic stretching is that you actively move your joints and muscles during the stretch. This helps you get more blood and oxygen to your muscles that will be used when you start running.
Dynamic stretching also helps to increase your body’s core temperature and ensures smoother movement of your joints. By utilising the stretches in our dynamic warm up examples, you can also increase nerve activity which helps your muscles work more efficiently.
Moreover, you can expect an overall improvement in running performance because your body will be able to reach its full movement during the exercise. Running itself is a fairly basic motion, but with these stretches you allow your body to better work the muscles in your entire body. You will notice that your muscles are able to move more freely during the run.
Dynamic Warm up Routine Examples
Dynamic stretches can usually take around 10 minutes during a dynamic warm up routine.
Before getting started on your stretches, you can begin with a light aerobic workout. This is a few minutes of light cardio to get your muscles ready for the dynamic stretching before running.
Foam rolling warmup
If you have a history of tightness or tension in your body, then you can add foam rolling to your routine. Foam rolling helps to relax your muscles and eases tension in your body. This step should be done in between your aerobic workout and dynamic warm up exercises.
Once your body is warmed up, you can begin with the dynamic stretches. Remember that the goal isn’t to stretch to your maximum; rather, it is to go through the full range of motions that will help loosen your muscles up.
We went through the best dynamic warm up exercises above, and you can pick a few to ensure you get a full-body workout before you start running. Remember to start slowly and pay attention to the muscles being worked. It can take a few tries before mastering these dynamic warm up examples.
If you want to reduce the risk of injury as a runner, dynamic warm up exercises are essential. When you engage in dynamic stretching before running, you increase your flexibility and range of motion, which allows you to have the best run. Once your run is over, static stretching is effective for cooling down. Remember, practice makes perfect!