Stretching and warming up your joints and muscles before any physical activity will help keep you from getting injured. Often, people think that running is part of a warm-up and begin their workout routine without adequately preparing their bodies. Here are a few warm-up exercises you could do before running to get the blood flowing and reduce your risk of injury:  

Joint Mobility

Before a run, it is good to wake up the joints, especially in the legs. Rolling the ankles around and bringing your knees up to your chest gives your joints an excellent warm-up. Make sure your joints are reaching a full range of motion and that you are easing into a good stretch.

Lunges

Walking lunges help activate all of the major muscle groups that will be used during your run. They also begin the forward motion that you will be executing while running, which also prepares your body for what is coming next.

How To Do A Walking Lunge

  • Start by keeping both feet together
  • Take a long step forward
  • Bend the front knee at a 90-degree angle, keeping the knee in line with your foot
  • Hold for a few seconds
  • Stand back up by bringing the back foot to meet the front foot
  • Repeat all of these steps with the opposite leg
  • Continue this process about 10 times

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

Hip flexors are a problem for those who have jobs that require long periods of time in a chair. Many people who have desk jobs suffer from tight hip flexors, and it is very important to stretch them before you work out to avoid pulling a muscle.

How To Stretch Your Hip Flexors

  • Begin in a lunge position with the front leg at a 90-degree angle
  • Extend the back leg until you feel a stretch in the front part of your extended leg
  • Raise your arms up above your head and hold for a few seconds
  • Repeat all of these steps with the opposite leg
  • Continue this process about 5 times

Side Stretch

Have you ever had a side cramp while running? There is no real known cause. However, stretching has proven to help reduce these painful side stitches.

How To Do A Side Stretch

  • Stand with your legs and feet together and your arms raised above your head
  • Keeping your abdominals engaged and your back straight, bend over your side
  • Hold this position while taking 2 deep breaths before bending towards the opposite side  
  • Repeat these steps 5 times

Hip Circles

Running bares a lot of impact on your hips. Get the blood flowing in that area and get them moving with simple hip circles in both directions. Start with 5-10 rotations on one side and then reverse the movement.

Calf Raises

Your calves receive the most work during a run. Every time your foot leaves the floor, your calf contracts. Ease them into the run by doing a few calf raises. These can be done with both feet at the same time, or you could also alternate.

How To Do Calf Raises

  • Stand at a step where you could put the ball of the feet at the edge and have your heels hang over the edge.
  • Slowly raise up onto the balls of the feet and slowly release and lower the heels until they pass below the edge of the step
  • Repeat 5-10 times


Before you exercise, it is best to prepare your body for what is coming ahead to achieve your highest performance and also avoid injury. If you are unsure of how to properly prepare before a workout, PumpFit Club has classes with trained professionals that will set you on the right track. Contact us for a free class today!