Posted on December 26th, 2011 No comments
Our next set of exercises in the Dynamic Warm Up series is the lunge. Some coaches look at this as an advanced exercise and in some respects it is. It takes strength that a beginning runner may not have in order to execute the lunge fully with the lower part of each leg at a right angle to the upper leg. The tough part is pushing back upright.
Do 10 lunges on each leg, forward and backward.
- Don’t overstretch when stepping forward
- Lead thigh and trailing shin parallel to ground
- Controlled movement
- Move opposite arms with the legs with an exaggerated movement
Backward lunge with twist
- Step back into lunge
- Twist trunk to right and left
Dynamic Warm Up Series
Posted on December 16th, 2011 No commentsThis is the third in our series of Dynamic Warm-Ups. We’ve been teaching just a few each week at our Couch to 5K program. Part 1 - Dynamic Warm Ups. Part 2 - Zombie Warm Ups.
So far in our routine we’ve awakened and activated the hip flexor, warmed up the quadriceps by putting them through a full range of motion, activated the small stabilizing muscles in the legs, and warmed up the hamstring and glutes. Backwards running and backpedaling bring power movements in to play while also getting the feet moving.
- Push with front leg
- Reach with rear leg
- Exagerate the arm motion and really throw them in front of you
The backwards run fully activates the hamstring and calf muscles with the hard push off to propel your body to the rear.
This is the same motion that a pass defender uses in football as he moves backwards from the line of scrimmage.
- Feet under hips
- Hips under shoulders
- Quick push off to the rear
Fully activates quadriceps.
By the time you get done with the eight exercises we’ve introduced so far, your heart rate should be elevated and except on the coldest days, you’ll probably be sweating a bit.
Posted on December 11th, 2011 2 comments
Last week was our first in a series of Dynamic Warm Ups for our Couch to 5K athletes. I call the next two exercises our Zombie warm up because both exercises are done with straight legs. (Why don’t zombies bend their legs?)
- Keep the legs straight and hands out front
- Snap the leg quickly forward, driving the foot towards the hands
Keep in mind that the goal is to feel the stretch in the hamstring, not to touch your hands. Your hands are simply a target. If you bend your leg in order to touch your hands, you won’t feel the stretch. Move forward for 10 yards.
Straight Leg Deadlift Walk
- Balance on one leg and keep it straight
- Lift the other leg to the rear. As the leg goes back, the torso tilts forward
- Straight line from ear to shoulder to hip to knee to ankle.
- Keep the shoulders and hips parallel to the ground
- Swing the rear leg forward and take a step and balance again
- Do five lifts on each leg
You should feel a stretch in the glutes and hamstring of the leg on which you are balanced.
Next week: Lateral Moves
Posted on December 2nd, 2011 4 comments
The old school way of warming up for running was static stretching. If you’re even older than old school, you may have done some bouncing movements to stretch those muscles. Turns out that’s not the best way to warm up as static stretching may rob you of power and speed. Stretching will keep you flexible and enhance your range of motion, both of which are beneficial to the runner but it should be done after a work out when muscles are warm and ready to be stretched.
Last night at our Couch to 5K program we took our runners through four simple exercises that are the first in a series of 13 exercises designed to get you warmed and ready to run with speed and power. This is not the complete set of exercises but they are great for a beginning runner. Do each exercise for about 10 yards.
High Knee Walk
- Extend the stepping leg until the thigh is parallel to the ground
- Rise up on the toes
Wakes up the opposite hip flexor
High Knee Skip
- Rhythmic action
- Not for height or distance
- Thigh parallel to the ground
Puts hip flexors in action
- Get upright - head up
- High # of foot strikes
Fully activates hip flexor
- Heels to butt
- Start slow and build speed
- Warms up hamstring and takes quadricep through full range of motion
Next week - Zombie Warm-up