You ought to warm up and cool down before each of your runs. You can get your muscles ready for peak performance by doing these two exercises before and after your run, which will also aid in your recovery.
Benefits of Warming Up for Running
Your blood vessels widen as you begin to warm up. Your muscles are primed with oxygen and prepared to perform at their best as a result of the increased blood flow. Your muscles’ temperature is raised by blood flow. Your muscles become more flexible thanks to this warmth.
It is good for your heart if you let your heart rate rise gradually. Warming up allows your heart rate to rise gradually rather than demanding max heart output by launching into your running routine at full speed.
Recommended 5 Minutes Warming Up
Here’s What the Warm-up Includes:
- Pendulum Lunges With Balance and Side Bends
- High Knees to Heel Kicks
- Squats With Hip Rotation
- Glute Bridges With Knee Drives
- Planks Variations With Knee Drives
Pendulum Lunges With Balance and Side Bends
Along with lengthening the hip flexors during the reverse lunge portion, this movement pattern imitates the forward momentum and core engagement required for running.
- Place your hands out in a goalpost position as you stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Lunge forward while bending both knees at a 90-degree angle to the ground. Hold for two seconds.
- When returning to the middle while balancing on your front leg, push off your front heel while maintaining core stability.
- Step backwards into a reverse lunge right away. Holding your back knee a few inches off the ground, bend your same-side arm overhead into a side position. Maintain a lifted posture with your shoulders tucked in.
- To get back to the middle (while standing on one leg), push off your front heel.
- For 8 to 10 repetitions, swing the same leg back and forth in a pendulum motion. Then, switch to the other side and repeat.
High Knees to Heel Kicks
The muscles in the quads, glutes, and hamstrings are helped to contract by this cardio warm-up.
- Heel kicks and high knees should be alternated. This can be done either stationaryly or while moving.
- Always maintain a straight back, a high chest, and a tight core.
- For another 45 to 60 seconds, alternate the sides.
Squats With Hip Rotation
The glutes will love this mobility exercise, and your hips will love it too.
- Stand upright with your legs shoulder-width apart.
- Do a squat.
- Lift one knee toward your chest as you stand back up, circling it outward to open the hips.
- Squat down once more while putting your foot back down.
- For 45 to 60 seconds, keep switching sides.
Glute Bridges With Knee Drives
The posterior chain, quads, and core all need to be strengthened and lengthened during this exercise in order to achieve the ideal running gait.
- Knees bent and feet flat on the floor, lie on your back.
- Your hamstrings and glutes should both be contracted as you press through your heels to raise your hips.
- Drive one knee to the same-side shoulder while maintaining the bridge and engaging your core. Before repeating on the other side, go back to the bridge and bring your pelvis to the floor.
- For 45 to 60 seconds, keep switching sides.
Planks Variations With Knee Drives
This “triple threat” variation on the traditional plank strengthens the core and promotes hip mobility, both of which are important for running.
- Start by doing a high plank with your feet hip distance apart.
- Drive one knee to the opposing elbow while maintaining a strong core and neutral hips. Drive the same knee to your chest as you return to plank. Return to plank position and drive the same knee to the outside of the same-side arm.
- On the other leg, repeat. For 45–60 seconds, keep switching sides.
Benefits of Cool Down for Running
Your heart is still racing after you’ve battled through your training, so you lean over to get some air. You should be pleased with your efforts! However, your workout isn’t quite finished. Your recovery time and training efficiency can both be accelerated by a thorough cool-down.
You need to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and put your body through stress in order to create an effective training stimulus. Your body will take longer to recover from a more intense workout.
Your muscles rebuild and strengthen themselves during the recovery process in preparation for subsequent workouts. Your recovery has to be just as important as the actual training for it to have the biggest impact possible. The first phase of your recovery is to perform cool-down exercises. The more difficult your workout or race, the more crucial your cool-down is.
Recommended Cool Down Workouts
At the end of your run, take these steps:
- After your run, cool down by strolling or slowly jogging for five to ten minutes. Gradually returning to normal should be your breathing and heart rate.
- To hydrate your body again, sip on water or a beverage containing electrolytes.
In order to find the best running and stretching routine for you and your health, if you are just beginning a new fitness regimen, consult a healthcare professional. Enjoy your run!