What is the best way to warm up?

Abbie SawyerThe Research, Your Best Life

Evidence Based Warm Up Before Your Run

It’s the time of year that we want to spend more time outside, and runners might be signing up for their races. As the weather is warming up, we are excited to share some rising research on what is recommended for how you can warm up before your run to reduce your risk for injury. 

Research has discovered that potentially the best way to avoid injury while running is to increase your body temperature prior to your run. This can be done with use of a stationary bike, or even a slow jog before getting up to your running speed for your work out. When slow running with a high cadence and short stride length there is a significant decrease in the impact forces on the muscles while they are warming up. 

How long should I warm up?

This is an age dependent answer, as older runners tend to have more stiffness. 

  • 30-40 year old runners – consider 5-10 min of a warm up 
  • 50 and older runner – consider a 15 min warm up 

What about stretching?

Though there is a lot of research confirming that static stretching does quite little over the short term with changing the physical properties of the muscle, there is also research that supports the importance of runners who already have a regular routine of stretching and who believe that it can prevent injuries to continue with their stretching routine. It has been found that those who already have this routine are at a higher risk of injury if they discontinue their stretching routine. 

Other Activities for Increasing Body Temperature by Muscle Group

Are you feeling limited in your ability to train at the rate that you want to because of lack of mobility or pain? We are here to help, as both our DCs and our PT on staff are trained in understanding movement and injury prevention. Call us to make an appointment and get back to training the way you want to. 

Machaud, T. C. (2014). The Best Way to Warm Up: Dynamic warm-up drills may be the single best way to prevent injuries and improve performance. 

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