Running isn’t just something you can do by itself. In fact, what you do before and after your run is just as important, as it prepares your body and helps it recover more quickly afterward. If you’re a new runner or have yet to start and have no idea of what to do, here is an ultimate guide to the top 5 exercises to try before a run.
Did you know that there is an exercise called a runner’s lunge’? It’s a stretch that mimics the position of a sprinter at the start line. That is, however, something you should do at the end of your run. A regular lunge, or even a walking lunge, however, is one of the best exercises to try before a run, because it not only opens your thighs and hips and warms up your legs, but it also mimics a running position, thus encouraging you to have good posture.
The bridge is that exercise where you lie on your back with the arms by your sides and thrust your hips up, tucking your feet as close as possible to your butt underneath you. Once again, this is an exercise that will warm up your upper leg muscles as well as your core and abs, but it will also build strength, which will help you run better. As a bonus, it will also firm up your glute muscles and improve the look of your buttocks.
Another one of the exercises to try before a run is hip circles, where you stand tall and thrust your hips in a circle one way, then the other. There are several reasons why you need to do them, including the fact that the hips bear a lot of the effort you put into a run, which means you should open and prepare your joints but also the fact that this helps to mobilize your core and legs and set your body up for running.
Runners tend to complain about pain in their sides which, while nothing has been proven, probably has to do with the fact that they neglect their upper body when warming up for running. Stretching your sides will reduce the risk of feeling sore in the area as well as activate your side and core muscles. To do this, simply stand up straight, then incline your torso fully to one side and repeat on the other. You can also do this after running, for better results.
Calf and foot stretches:
It isn’t enough to buy the best shoes for plantar fasciitis, if you want to avoid foot injuries – you also need to warm up your calves and feet properly with some dynamic stretching before you start running, in order to protect the joints and tendons. Calf and foot circles are some of the best exercises to try before a run and do this, as are calf raises, but there are plenty more stretches you can do to mobilize and relieve the calf and foot area.
Running is a great, full body exercise which relieves not only your body but also your mind. However, it is also one of the most taxing kinds of workouts you can do, especially when running in warm weather or in very cold temperatures, so you should take all the precautions you can before as well as afterwards. These are just some exercises to try before a run, but there are lots of others out there that you can do to target other areas or keep from getting bored easily.