If you're still performing slow, controlled stretches to warm up before practice, you could actually be increasing your chances for an injury. Static stretching has its place at the end of a run, just not in the warm-up. The preferred warm-up method of runners and all other top athletes whose sports involve running includes dynamic movements that allow the body to move through a full range of motion. You start on your feet by getting your heart rate up and your blood flowing. Check out CoachUp's tips for the most dynamic, activity-readying warm-up possible!
Below is a sample dynamic mobility warm-up that will prepare you for competition. Before your next race, try warming up properly. You will increase your body's readiness and decrease your chances of injury. After you break a light sweat, finish the warm-up and remember to move dynamically. Don't hold each stretch. Instead, move fluidly through the exercise. Do not try and make static stretches into dynamic stretches by bouncing up and down or moving in place. Complete four sets of each exercise for 40-feet across.
- Slow Jog-Start by just jogging at a medium pace. No more than 50 percent
- High Knees- Lift your knees as high as can while keeping your core and posture straight up, stay on the balls of your feet and pop your knees back up as quickly as possible
- Butt Kicks-Run kicking your heels back toward your butt, again keep your core tight and posture straight. As you kick back with your left leg, raise your right arm up to your eye socket, as your left hand goes to your left hip socket. Visa versa on the other side *
- Lateral Shuffle with Arm Circles-Facing sideways, shuffle in an athletic position without crossing your feet or clicking your heels, and circle your arms. Face the same direction on the way back
- Backpedal with Hip Openers-As you back-pedal, lift one knee and open your hips to the outside. Alternate legs (also called opening the gate)
- Full Sprint- Sprint full speed only slowing down for the last 10 feet
- Gorilla Squats- Stand with your toes slightly pointed out and your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down by lowering your hips and grab your toes. Keep your head high. As you raise your hips, lower your head while extending your hips, knees, and ankles. Continue to hold your toes the entire time.
- Inchworms- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend forward at the waist and bring your hands to the floor in front of you. Slowly walk your hands out until you are in a Plank. This should look like the top of push-up position. Then slowly lift your hips high as you walk your feet back towards your hands. Lock out your hips and knees and think of moving only from your ankles. This exercise helps warm up your hamstrings
- Scorpion- Lie face-down on the ground. Extend your arms out to the side to form the letter "T." Extend your right leg behind you, over your left glute, lift it up and drop it toward your left hand. Do not let your arms and shoulders come off the ground. Reach your leg toward your hand and flex your knee. Repeat on the other side. You’ll feel this stretch heavily in your quads and hip flexors ##Huddle Up Performing a complete dynamic warmup before you run is imperative to your health and success.
Be prepared for the biggest moments by mastering the small ones off the field.