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Be Race-Ready With This Warm-Up

Why should you warm up before running a race?

We’re so glad you asked!

Warming up might seem like an unnecessary step, but it can make a world of difference in your running performance and overall well-being.

Regardless of whether you’re running for fun, preparing for a training session, or gearing up for a race, warming up properly is important.

Here are a few reasons why:

Injury Prevention

Warming up gradually increases blood flow to your muscles and joints. This extra blood flow helps your muscles become more pliable and less prone to injury. When you launch straight into a race without a warm-up, you risk shocking your muscles and joints, which can lead to strains, pulls, or even tears.

Improved Performance

Think of your muscles as a car engine. A cold engine won’t perform as well as a warm one. Warming up gradually increases your heart rate, loosens your muscles, and prepares your body for the increased workload during the race. This means you’ll be more efficient and can run faster, longer, and with less effort.

Mental Preparation

Warming up isn’t just about physical benefits. It also helps you mentally prepare for the race ahead. It gives you a moment to focus on your goal, visualize your race, and build confidence. The mental aspect of running is just as crucial as the physical one.

 

Three Essential Warm-Up Exercises

Now that we understand why warming up is a game-changer let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the three warm-up exercises that will get you race-ready.

These exercises are simple, effective, and can be done in just a few minutes.

Side Lunge

Side lunges help increase hip mobility and activate your leg muscles.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Take a step to the side with your right foot, keeping your left foot planted.
  • Bend your right knee, pushing your hips back and keeping your left leg straight.
  • Return to the starting position and switch sides.
  • Complete two or three sets of 15 lunges on each leg.

Forward Lunge & Twist

A forward lunge with a twist helps enhance hip flexibility and engages your core muscles.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Take a step forward with your right foot and lunge, ensuring your right knee is at a 90-degree angle.
  • As you lunge, twist your upper body to the right.
  • Return to the starting position and switch sides.
  • Complete two or three sets of 15 lunges on each leg.

Elevated Calf Stretch

An elevated calf stretch does just as it sounds — it helps prevent calf tightness.

  • Find a curb or step (or chair if it’s available).
  • Place your right foot on the surface.
  • Glide forward, keeping your back leg straight and bending your right knee.
  • Hold for a few seconds then glide back.
  • Complete two or three sets of 15 reps on each leg.

 

Warming up before a race is not something to skip or rush through. It’s a fundamental part of your preparation that can make a significant impact on your performance and overall running experience.

So, the next time you lace up those running shoes, take a few extra minutes to warm up properly – your body will thank you for it!

Are you a runner struggling with pain or injury?

Unlike other medical providers, Buffalo Rehab Group understands your need to run. Get back to running pain- and injury-free with help from a Physical Therapist who loves running, too!

Click below to learn more about our specialized Physical Therapy services for runners:

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