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My Warm-Up and Cool-Down Running Routines

If you are a runner that wants to improve your mobility, flexibility, and posture, and reduce your chances of getting injured, you should warm-up and cool-down your body every run.

Among runners, it is widely accepted that pre-run warmups are filled with dynamic stretches, and post-run cooldowns are filled with static stretches. However, it is important not to take anecdotal advice to extremes. For example, it can be extremely beneficial to isolate a few areas with foam rolling and static stretches to address specific imbalances.

Within this post, I outline a five-minute pre-run warm-up routine, an ideal pre-run warmup routine, and an ideal post-run stretch routine.


Pre-Run Warm-Up Routine When You Only Have Five Minutes



Video Breakdown:

  1. Super Easy Jog or Quick Walk ( 60 – 90 Seconds )
  2. Opening and Closing the Gate ( 10 – 15 reps each leg for close and open ) (1:35 video stamp)
  3. Straight Leg Swings ( 10 reps each leg ) ( 3:16 ) + Sideways Leg Swings ( 10 reps each leg ) ( 4:08 )
  4. Walking Lunges ( 8-10 Lunges ) ( 4:34 )
  5. Butt Kicks ( Kick-Butt 20 seconds X 2 )( 6:03 )
  6. High Knees ( 20 seconds X 2 ) ( 7:09 )

Ideal Pre-Run Warm-up Routine



Video Breakdown:

  1. I also start with a quick 60 – 90-second jog. This is not part of the video, perhaps because the 4 minutes of foam rolling is enough of a muscle warm-up, but even still, it doesn’t hurt.
  2. Foam roll for up to 60 on quads, hamstrings, calves, and back before starting stretches. Roll slowly, and when you find a trigger point, focus in on it with your rolling until you feel it release! ( Video Time Stamp 1:06 )( More technical foam rolling instruction in other video linked below ” How to use a foam roller ” )
  3. Using a lacrosse or tennis ball, to work on piriformis, glutes, and hip area including the TFL. ( TFL attachment to IT band that causes runners knee ) (2:04)
  4. Stretch Piriformis 20 seconds each side (2:34)
  5. Stretch Hip Flexors 15 seconds (3:31)
  6. Stretch Lower Back( 3:55 )
  7. Side Bend Stretches ( 4:14 )
  8. Crucifix Mobilization ( 4:39 )
  9. Side Steps – 10 steps one way, 10 steps back ( 5:29 )
  10. Tripple Extension – 8 on each side, two-second hold at top of movement **great for people who sit a lot at work. ( 5:58 )
  11. Hamstring Sweeps 12 sweeps ( 6:45 )
  12. Walking Lunges 10 on each leg ( 7:16 )
  13. A-Walks or A-Skips – do twice over 20 m distance ( 8:16 )

Post-Run Stretches:



Video Breakdown:

  1. Start with cardiovascular cooldown! Walk for half or full mile. ( .8 – 1.6 Km )
  2. Once stopped, rehydrate with water, and electrolytes if you can.
  3. Start your static stretches to target muscles and fascia to restore water balance, elastic capacity, and moving metabolites to tissues
  4. Hip Flexors ( 4 positions 15 seconds each ) 3:10 ( video stamp)
  5. Groin ( 2 positions 15 seconds each ) 3:57
  6. Quads and feet ( 1 position 15 seconds ) 4:32
  7. Glutes ( 2 positions 15 seconds ) 4:50
  8. Hamstrings ( 3 positions 15 seconds ) 5:41
  9. Calf ( 2 positions 15 seconds ) 6:41
  10. Lumbar Spine ( 1 position 15 seconds ) 7:21

Side notes from the video: Short 15 second stretches help muscles and fascia, but longer stretches ( 30 seconds ) help joints, tendons, and ligaments. So if you have areas that have any specific issues, after doing the above stretches, you should do two sets of 30 seconds to address those issues.


Reactivation Circuit


The video also recommends that after your static stretches you should do a 4-minute circuit to reactivate and realign your key muscle groups. ( 8:50 )

  • Elbow Plank for 30 seconds
  • Slow High Knee Walk ( 5 ups for each leg )
  • Hand Plank for 30 seconds
  • Do another set of the above 3 exercises

Guide For Foam Rolling Properly


Foam rolling is a form of self-massage. As part of a warm-up routine has been shown to improve flexibility and range of movement without affecting muscle strength. Foam rolling as part of a post-run routine has been shown to reduce the impact of delayed muscle soreness (DOMS).

You can choose to foam roll before or after a run, here is a video to give you a few ideas on how you can do that properly.



Conclusion


In conclusion, there is a lot that you should do before and after you run, but don’t suck all the fun out of the activity by being too strict! Also, make sure to add or remove movements from the above routines to personalize them to your needs.

I hope that this guide is useful!

All the best,
C

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