Warm up & Cool down Routine

I have put together the following warm up and cool down routines with the express desire to do the bare minimum of stretching before and after every workout to keep my muscles flexible enough to continue running up to 8 times a week without major issues.

For an extended version to use on race days/long run days see these warm-up and warm down videos by Evan Scully.


Warming up

The following exercises are a mix of dynamic stretching and running drills, priming your body to run with a running engine and good form.

  • Outward Hip Flexor (10 reps per leg)
    • Raise one knee forward, then turn it sidewards
    • dsc_6279 dsc_6285
  • Forward Lunge (10 reps per leg)
    • Big Step forward, front knee at 90° angle, back knee can almost touch the ground
    • dsc_6288
  • Inward Hip Flexor (10 reps per leg)
    • Raise one knee sidewards, then turn it forwards
    • dsc_6285dsc_6279
  • Butt Kicks (20 meters forward)
    • Increases range of motion in the back of your running stride
    • dsc_6299
  • High Knees (20 meters forward)
    • Increases range of motion in the front of your running stride
    • dsc_6306
  • Side Skip (10 skips in one direction, then 10 skips back with the other side)
    • Boosts lateral mobility
    • dsc_6322dsc_6323
  • Arm Windmills (5 forward, 5 backward)
    • dsc_6346dsc_6345
  • Walking Leg Swings (10 reps per leg)
    • Swing one leg up high and touch the tip with your opposite hand
    • dsc_6347dsc_6348

NOTE: In case of speed training, I would also add the following exercises after the warm-up kilometers and just before the intervals:

  • Static Calf stretch (2 times 20 seconds per leg)
    • Lean forwards against a support, lean on your front foot’s tip and keep the back foot flat
    • dsc_6349
  • Static Quad stretch (2 times 20 seconds per leg)
    • Stand on one leg, pull your heel towards your butt. Raise knee forward to better mimic running motion
    • dsc_6351
  • Side Swing (10 reps per leg
    • Find a support (eg wall) and swing your leg side to side
    • dsc_6352dsc_6357
  • Leg Swing
    • Find a support and swing your leg front to back
    • dsc_6359dsc_6360

 Cooling down

Numbero uno recovery step is to rehydrate. Grab a healthy snack (BANANA for example) and walk around for a short 5 mins before transitioning into a cooldown stretching session.

Second step would be to bask in the pride that comes from completing yet another workout:

via GIPHY

Follow it up with the following stretches:

  • Hamstring stretch (2 times 20 seconds per leg)
    • Lie on your back and lift one leg up straight
    • dsc_6365
  • Grab your knee (2 times 20 seconds per leg)
    • Lie on your back and hug one knee on your chest
    • dsc_6367
  • Hip flexor stretch (2 times 20 seconds per leg)
    • Lie on your back, bend your knee at 90 degrees and push it towards the ground as shown in the picture. Look the other way.
    • dsc_6370
  • Butterfly position (2 times 20 seconds)
    • Sit and place foot soles together. Draw feet towards inner thighs and push knees downwards with elbows
    • dsc_6373
  • Static Calf stretch 1 (2 times 20 seconds per leg)
    • Lean forwards against a support, lean on your front foot’s tip and keep the back foot flat
    • dsc_6349
  • Static Calf stretch 2 (2 times 20 seconds per leg)
    • Lean forwards against a support, bend your front knee and lean on your front foot.
    • dsc_6375
  • Static Quad stretch (2 times 20 seconds per leg)
    • Stand on one leg, pull your heel towards your butt. Raise knee forward to better mimic running motion
    • dsc_6351

 

–> Shower time (But not too hot, or you will get a cold)

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