Lifestyle

The best exercises to warm up and stretch before and after running

Let’s face it, we all know that runners aren’t the most disciplined athletes when it comes to warming up and stretching before and after their runs. In other sports, it is something absolutely forbidden, but in the world of running. It seems that starting without warming up and abruptly ending a race without doing anything else is the most normal thing in the world. 

However, it shouldn’t be like that. Warming up and stretching should be part of any training plan. The warm-up serves to prevent contractions or injuries and prepare the muscles for the effort, and stretching helps your muscles recover afterward. Do you know what else you need for your muscles to recover well? Our Recovery Aminos, provide your body with essential amino acids and rapidly available carbohydrates. 

Why is it important to warm up before running?

Always doing a good warm-up before starting to run has many benefits. The most important are: 

  • Increased body temperature, leads to improved performance.
  • Improved blood circulation.
  • Improved oxygen absorption.
  • Improved nutrient supply to the muscles.
  • Increased production of joint fluid, which leads to improved cushioning of the bones and friction of the joints.
  • Improved coordination and increased concentration. 

In general, all of these benefits mean that you are less likely to sustain an injury and that you can run more efficiently. What does this mean? That your performance also improves. Therefore, it is always worth warming up for at least 5-10 minutes so that your body is ready for the race and can give its best.

How to warm up correctly before you start running

The perfect warm-up for runners is something that doesn’t exist. It will always depend on your level and your goal. But there are a couple of things you always have to keep in mind:

To begin with, the warm-up should prepare you physically and mentally for the race, but it shouldn’t be so intense that it leaves you exhausted.

On the other hand, many people wonder if it is advisable to do static stretching before running. And the answer is a resounding no. It is only recommended to do static stretching to recover after the race. In the cooling phase, which is when our muscles are most fatigued. 

When creating your perfect warm-up before your races, think about what you want to do after: if your idea is to do a leisurely run, a general warm-up is enough to activate your body. Conversely, if you’re going to run more intensely or do interval training, it makes more sense for you to do a specific warm-up followed by a 1-2km easy run.

More information: Just as it is very important that you warm up well before you start running, it is also essential that you eat correctly before you go running. Especially in the case of competitions, food is what will define your performance in the race. 

The best exercises to warm up before running 

These runner-specific warm-up exercises activate your entire body before your runs. There is no set number of reps you should do. Start slow and keep in mind that you shouldn’t feel exhausted after doing them. On average, 3-5 reps per exercise per side is enough. Do not take more than 5 minutes.

#1 Rotation of ankles and shoulders

Instructions 

  • Place the toe of the foot in a vertical position and, in that position, make 360º turns with the ankle. At the same time, he draws large circles with his arms.
  • Get on one foot, lift one foot slightly off the ground, and circle your foot in the air for a few seconds.

#2 Leg swing forwards and backward

Instructions

  • Stand tall with your legs hip-width apart. Put all your weight on one leg and swing the other leg back and forth a few times.
  • Then do lateral swings passing the leg to the right and the left in front of the other leg.
  • Repeat both exercises on the other side.

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