During my college days I was able to wake up first thing at 5 a.m., hop out of bed, put on my shoes, and get a work out or run in. However I am no longer a spring chicken, and as I get older I find that getting your body prepped for a run through a warm-up routine is essential to prevent something from going wrong.
Not to go into the detailed science behind it, so to keep it simple as we get older our muscles become “less stretchy”. Getting the body moving through some light range-of-motion exercises gets blood flowing into those muscles, helping them become more elastic. The more elastic your muscles are, the less likely they will pull and tear thus causing injury.
I’ve found the below routine to work best for me. It takes roughly 5-10 minutes and I do it every morning after getting dressed for my run or workout. Sometimes I will even do it on a rest day after waking up to get my body moving after a full night’s rest.
This warm-up does not include any static stretching, but quick light movements of the body to give your circulatory system a jump-start.
Feel free to add or modify depending on your own physical needs and what works for you.
Running Riddles Dynamic Warm-Up Routine
- 5 wrist raises up / down (each wrist)
- 5 wrist rotations clockwise (each wrist)
- 5 wrist rotations counter clockwise (each wrist)
- 5 shoulder rolls frontwards
- 5 shoulder rolls backwards
- 3 neck roles right (gentle and slow)
- 3 neck roles left (gentle and slow)
- 10 arm circles frontwards
- 10 arm circles backwards
- 10 press press flings (pretend to do a pushup while standing and “fling” your arms outwards to the side)
- 10 up back and overs (swing arms up, then down, and then in a full circle…repeat 10 times)
- 3 ankle rotations clockwise, then counter-clockwise (repeat with other ankle)
- 10 leg swings forwards (grab onto something, swing right leg out in front like a kick, and then towards the back…repeat 10 times…then repeat 10 times with left leg)
- 10 leg swings sideways (grab onto something, face forwards and swing right leg across your body to the left, and then out away from your body to the right…repeat 10 times…then repeat 10 times with left leg)
- 5 air squats
- 5 pushups
- Lunge stretch right leg (gently)
- Lunge stretch left leg (gently)
- 25 jumping jacks