3 Easy ways To warm Up correctly before you start running
One of the common conversations among runners is the discussion about whether or not to warm up before a workout. If you ask, many may tell you that this is something expendable and that it is nothing more than a waste of time, but you should not take it lightly.
Our recommendation is to always warm up before training as it has many benefits. In this article, I am going to give you some guidelines to warm up before you start running.
What is the Warming Good for?
The warm-up consists of performing a series of exercises that will cause the temperature of your muscles to increase.
The intensity will depend on the type of warm-up, so at the beginning you will start with low intensity exercises and then with high intensity to gradually prepare the body.
The purpose of warming up, therefore, is to prepare the body to perform better physical performance in training and avoid any type of muscle contraction or injury .
Benefits of Warming Up Before Your Workout
The goal of a good warm-up is to gradually bring your body to its optimum level to perform at its best. Before subjecting your body to strong stress, you need to prepare it properly, and with a good warm-up you will get the following benefits that will help you obtain better performance:
1. Increase Body Temperature
Raising the temperature of the muscles is essential to improve your performance. According to medical studies, the ability of muscles to produce energy and increase the speed of muscle contraction can be increased by up to 13% for each degree Celsius of temperature that we manage to increase during warm-up.
2. Improve Heart Activity and Breathing
Heating produces the opening of many capillary systems that are inactive at rest, generating an increase in blood flow, increasing lung capacity and enhancing the volume of pumped blood. Similarly, increasing oxygen uptake activates various phases of the metabolism that are fundamental to cope with stress situations. The cardiorespiratory system, therefore, increases its activity by dilating blood vessels and increasing pulmonary irrigation, preventing diaphragm contractures, also known as ‘flatus’.
3. Improve Reflexes, Coordination and Balance
When you warm up there is a greater impulse of the nervous system. He increases his activity and concentrates on remembering the correct technique of the tread and movement . In the same way, the adrenal systems are activated producing a greater number of endorphins and neurotransmitters, which will be necessary for subsequent training.
4. Improve the performance of your muscles
During the warm-up you get the blood to reach all the muscles involved in the training and oxygenate them. Muscle fibers increase their length and their neuromuscular activation to increase muscle performance and thus prevent muscle injury.
5. Protect joints, ligaments and bone structures
By doing a good warm-up, the joints heat up and increase the fluidity of the synovial fluid, which is responsible for protecting the cartilaginous surfaces. In the same way, the ligamentous system begins to adapt to movement, as well as the bone structures that receive direct impact, allowing better cushioning and dispersion of tension when running. So warming up will help you prevent those pesky repetition and impact injuries.
3 Easy ways To warm Up correctly
The objective of these warm-up guidelines, which should not take you more than 20-30 ‘, is to be able to perform at your best and avoid any type of injury before speed training. If you are a beginner in the world of running, and you want to learn how to do a good warm-up to prepare your body as best as possible before training, it is very important that you follow a warm-up routine like this.
1. Smooth Race (10-15 ‘)
The first step in warming up before you start running is to slowly raise your body temperature with a light run. You can start by walking at a good pace for a few minutes and then do a low intensity jog to alert your body that you will soon increase your pace and that you are going to start running.
Jogging, as you probably already know, consists of taking a brisk walk where you move doing more intense work than walking, but requiring less effort than when you are running. With this cardiovascular warm-up you will get the muscles to reach an optimal minimum temperature to carry out the next phase of the warm-up.
The duration will depend on the intensity, time or distance of the subsequent activity that you are going to do. For a basic workout, I recommend that you do a gentle jog for 10-15 minutes.
2. Joint Mobility (5 ‘)
Joint mobility, as its name suggests, is the ability you have to perform certain movements through your joints, which are the union of bones, ligaments, tendons and cartilage.
After doing a smooth run, you have to take this second phase of the warm-up very into account. It consists of moving all the muscles of your body through the joints following a logical order, either ascending or descending. You must perform rotational movements in each of the body segments (ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, head …) and thus your joints will quickly warm up.
Joint mobility is an involutional capacity that is lost with age or through injuries, illnesses or accidents and can even vary depending on the diet and daily life you lead (sedentary or active). That is why it is important to take it into account and include it in your warm-up.
The duration of this phase depends on your needs, although I recommend that you dedicate at least 5 minutes, that is, about 30 seconds to each body segment.
3. Dynamic stretches (5-10 ‘)
Stretches are gentle and sustained exercises that serve to prepare the muscles before making a greater effort, in this case running. In general, stretching increases the flexibility of our muscles and reduces muscle tension and the likelihood of injury, among other benefits.
There is much controversy about performing both static and dynamic stretching before starting to run, as you will find studies both for and against in both cases.
Some studies affirm that there are no significant differences between some or other types of stretching in the warm-up of runners and even that dynamic stretching only generates more fatigue before running.
The latest research states that static stretching is not recommended during warm-up. On the contrary, they recommend doing them only to recover after training, in the cool-down phase, which is when our muscles are most fatigued.
If you are not sure which ones to follow and want to try, my advice is to do dynamic stretches during the warm-up , since they offer notable benefits to increase the flexibility of your muscles and have been recommended by great athletes like Deena Kastor.
Dynamic stretches are exercises based on jumping and swinging in order to work a muscle chain to activate its corresponding muscles.
This type of exercise seeks to bring your body to a position of maximum amplitude to improve your elasticity and increase blood flow in the muscles that you will use during the subsequent training.
By performing dynamic stretching, you will be able to reinforce the fulfillment of two essential objectives of the warm-up: minimize the risk of injury and improve the performance of your training. In addition to preparing your muscles specifically, you will increase your range of motion allowing for more efficient running technique . Also keep in mind that since they are not static movements and have greater freedom of movement, they will not be so boring to perform.
Exercises to Perform Dynamic Stretches
It is recommended that you do stretches that help you prepare the muscular pictures of both the upper body and the lower body of the body. The duration of this type of stretching should not be very long so as not to fatigue you, with 5-10 minutes in total you will have more than enough. Performing too long a stretch phase would affect your muscle contractile ability and the consequences would be reflected in a noticeable loss of performance.
Remember to avoid bouncing or sudden movements . Stretching does not mean increasing the tension of your muscles until you feel pain, if this happens it is because you will be stretching your muscles excessively. As for breathing, it should be slow. Do not hold your breath while stretching, you should inhale when you stretch the muscle and exhale while holding it in tension.
I recommend that you include at least these dynamic stretching exercises in your stretching table. You can repeat each sequence 3 to 5 times progressively increasing the amplitude of your movements for a better result.
– Walk with long strides placing one leg forward and bent. Bend your support leg further as far as possible. (Pyramidal and gluteus maximus muscle) If you perform lateral twists when doing the flexion, you will also stretch your back and abdominals.
– Standing with your arms crossed, stride forward with your right leg while trying to touch the right heel with your left hand and stretch your right arm up (Quadriceps, psoas, back and abdominal muscles)
– Walk raising your knees up to your chest, holding them briefly or holding them in the air. Stretch your quadriceps as you walk by lifting your heels up to your glute and holding them for a couple of seconds with your hand. (Quadriceps and glutes)
– Walk performing forward bends without bending your legs. Perform the same push-ups alternating the tips of the feet in and out (glutes, hamstrings and hamstrings)
Another optional practice: Strides
If you want to extend your warm-up further before speed training and after completing the previous steps, you can perform between 5 and 10 strides.
The strides are accelerations of short duration but of high intensity that are made in a distance of about 100 m. To perform them correctly you must gradually increase your speed until, over 50 meters, you have reached 85-95% of your maximum speed. Then you should maintain that speed between 2 and 5 seconds, and then gradually lower it. Before performing the next stride you should recover by walking for at least a minute or a half minute.
Don’t forget !: Warm-up is the basis of a better workout
As you can see, it is possible to do a good warm-up in a dynamic and fun way, without it being a ‘boring waste of time’.
There are many benefits that a good warm-up can bring to you both to improve your training performance and to help you prevent injuries that can arise both in the short and long term.
You already know, if you dedicate the necessary time, the warm-up will become the best base of your daily training!