Our warm up dictates our recovery. And our recovery dictates our next warm up.
When we warm up, we should work on activating muscles and increasing range of motion.
We take advantage of recovery to increase our range of motion. This sets us up to activate those muscles during our next warm up. By implementing this strategy, you’ll start to notice that your body is healthier and that you’ll run more efficiently.
Try these exercises from Physical Therapist Aaron Knighton of Blue Performance Group:
Side Plank with a leg swing (15 reps on each side)
This exercise is task-specific. It’s basically running, turned on its side. It’s a variation on a side plank to activate the gluteus. You’ll plank from your bottom knee, keeping your pelvis vertical with your knee, hip and shoulder in the same line. Then, swing your top leg forward and back. As you swing, keep your hips pressed forward, elevated, level and in good alignment. Your goal is to get through the full range of motion.
Banded Standing March (15 reps on each side)
Anchor a band to a low point in your room, and put your outside leg through the band. With a soft knee, slowly march your outside leg upward. Keep your pelvis level with your glutes engaged.
If the hip-flexor is too tight, it shuts down the gluteus muscle. If you don’t stabilize the pelvis in a stretch, you actually enlist your lower back. Tuck your pelvis and engage your core for a true stretch in your hip flexor. Only take a few minutes on each side to see improvements.
Myofascial Stripping with a foam roller
Lay on your stomach with the foam roller on the front of your thigh. Roll up and down the middle of your quadricep until you find a tender spot. When you find one, stay there and add a hamstring curl to make the muscle move over the ridges on the foam roller. By doing this, you improve the elasticity of the muscle and fascia around it. Work your way up to the hip and down to the knee. This will extend the muscle and improve your glute activation. Perform on both sides.