Do you warm up before a run? I never did when I was younger. But now in my old, wise ways I have learned the importance and benefits of performing a few dynamic stretches before every run.

What is a dynamic stretch? First off its not the reach and touch your toes type of stretching you’re probably thinking about. (That’s called static stretching) Dynamic stretching is sport specific movements that are performed to increase the range of motion through the joints before exercise. Also, it involves multiple muscles and not just a focus on one muscle group.

To be scientific for a moment…research shows that performing dynamic stretches before exercise increases performance and when static stretches are done before exercise they actually decrease your performance.

But who has time to warm up before a run these days?! We’ll I’ve learned the hard way that a few extra minutes spent warming up with these stretches helps me with injury prevention. Specifically, my IT band. It also stops me from wasting my first mile on getting myself “ready”.

So I want to help you with an easy dynamic stretching routine that can be done before any run. I’m still in Australia at the moment so you can hear the birds in the background. I love the cockatoos except for when they wake me up early in the morning.

A breakdown of the exercises:
1. Leg swings (forward and backward)
2. Side leg swings (you can hold on to something if you’d like-I’m all over the place in the video)
3. Squats
4. Lunges with a twist
5. Arm circles forward and backward
6. Walkouts with an optional push up
7. Knee tucks

Give it a try. It will take less then 5 minutes. In the video I am only doing 5 reps of each stretch but I would do at least 10 of each.

You’ll feel better at the start of your run and you’ll get more out of your workouts.

Do you warm up before a run?