Why is it important to properly warm up and cool down for running?
A smart warm up prepares your body for the performance ahead by giving your muscles time to recruit and coordinate. It also gives your joints a chance to properly lubricate, tendons and ligaments to loosen up and your heart rate to increase gently and gradually. The goal of performing a cool down is to return the body to its resting state, flush out waste products and maintain healthy muscle function. If you fail to do a proper cool down, your body will have a much harder time to recover and might not be ready for the next run you have planed! Especially if you deal with muscle tightness, you should not skip the cool down. I created a warm up and cool down routine for you to try the next time you go for a run. Let me know how it goes!
For your convenience I’ve attached videos for each exercise listed below.
If any of the following exercises cause you any pain or major discomfort please stop them and talk to a health/fitness professional. If you need any help or have any questions, I’m also here to help!
Dynamic warm up: 5 min
Perform 1-2 rounds of the following exercises before running:
-Snake attack (16 repetitions)
-Walking hamstring stretch (Hold stretch position 2-3 sec, repeat stretch 8 times each side)
-Jumping Jacks (20 repetitions)
-Walking Lunge (5 sec at the time, repeat stretch 8 times on each side)
-Forward Jacks (20 Repetitions)
-Side Lunge (Hold position 2-3 sec at the time, repeat stretch 8 times on each side)
-High Knees (30 repetitions)
-Butt Kicks (30 repetitions)
– Alternating Calf Stretches (5 sec at the time, repeat stretch 5 times on each side)
Cool down: 10-15min
- Reduce your pace gradually. Jog easy or walk the last couple of meters to your home. Incorporate at least 5 minutes of walking at the end of your run. Like this you are giving your muscles and cardiovascular system a chance to adapt to the slower pace in a more gentle way and help the muscles get rid of metabolic waste products.
- Stretch and release for optimal muscle health and function. Make sure you don’t overstretch! If it starts to hurt you went to far! You should feel a mild stretch. Another good option is to roll out tight muscles such as your quadriceps muscles.
Make sure you stretch the following muscles:
Let me know in the comments below what you think of this warm up and cool down routine!
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