Pro running coach and yoga instructor Tywon Thompson shares five dynamic stretching exercises for runners.
Why warm up?
When you’re getting ready for a run, your muscles need to be primed for action. Enter the dynamic warmup, a prep for your run comprised of active but easy movements. When you do dynamic stretches, you put your joints and muscles through a full range of motion. This helps prepare your body for the run to come.
Tywon Thompson, who co-leads November Project Dallas, is a professional running coach and yoga instructor. “Many runners do not like to be told they have to or should warm up, myself included. However, dynamic stretching plays an essential part in developing good running form and range of motion,” he said.
We reached out to Tywon for some dynamic exercises to help runners, and he put together his five favorites to get you moving.
You are literally trying to kick your own butt with each step. Take a nice slightly forward lean, make a short step, then kick your heels back and up as high as you can. Butt kicks help to improve leg turnover. Do this for 20 meters on a track or flat surface. You can also do butt kicks while in place for about 30 seconds. Muscles worked: hamstrings, glutes
Stay tall while quickly lifting and driving down your knees. Make sure to lift your knees as high as you can while moving forward for 20 meters on a track or flat surface. You can also do high knees while in place for about 30 seconds. Muscles worked: quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and hip flexors
Stand with a wide stance and feet facing forward. Bend your left knee while sending the hips back and distributing weight over the left foot to come into a side lunge. Be sure to keep your chest elevated and lifted. Return to standing, and repeat the movement for 30 seconds, before switching sides. Muscles worked: glutes, hamstrings, and quads
With your hands on your hips or a wall, shift your weight to your right leg. Bend your left knee to a 90-degree angle and lift it up toward your chest and out toward the left side. Then drive your left foot down allowing the toes to tap the ground. Immediately allow your left leg to pop back up on the left side, driving it towards your chest and back down to the starting position. Do about 10 reps or 30 seconds worth before switching to the opposite leg. Muscles worked: Hip flexors
Side-to-side leg swings
With your hands on a chair or wall for support, shift your weight to your right leg. With your left leg straight, swing it across the front of your body and out to the left side smoothly. Do 10 reps before switching to the opposite side. Muscles worked: Hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings
Front-to-back leg swings
With your left hand on a wall or chair for support, stand straight and shift your weight to your left leg. Swing your right leg forward and back smoothly. Do 10 reps before switching to the opposite side. Muscles worked: Hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings
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