A good warm-up is key to priming the body and mind for the intense workout or a race ahead.
Here is how a good warm-up routine helps us:
- Raises the core temperature and metabolism.
- Raises baseline VO2
- Increases muscle activation.
It is recommended that runners develop warm-up as a routine. Another point of the warm-up routine is to get the body revved up just enough, but not too intense which can cause fatigue and can affect the workout/race performance.
Here is a 10-minute routine that is recommended for runners that covers various aspects of what an ideal warm-up should do. Try these and modify them to your needs. Check out this video.
Range of Motion
Stretching helps in optimizing the muscles for good range of motion. However, static stretching before an intense activity is to be avoided, as it decreases the performance and can add to injury risk. Based on specific range of motion challneges you have, consider the following dynamic stretches: Heel walk with Arm hugs, Toe walk with Arm rotations, Toe touches, Figure 4 tuck/Glue stretch, Quad stretch/walk, and Yoga walk.
Priming the muscles/tendons in terms of neuromuscular function and in increasing tension (which makes them more spring-like) can be done through jumps, hops, skips, and other plyometric work. Following are some of the drills: Single leg hops, High Knees, A-Skips, Dynamic Soldier Walk, Side Shuffles, Forward Hops, Hop Squats, and Carioca.
Performing a light strength exercise before a race can increase muscle recruitment and performance. Here are a few that are recommended: single-leg deadlifts, squat walk, lunge walk, and plank walk.
Hari Babu is the founder and chief coach at CrossFit ZOH, and is certified NSCA CPT/ ACE CPT. He was national level competitive runner and Black belt (Shidoshi) at Bujinkan Ninjitsu.
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