Useful Tips

How to warm up before running, a list of exercises


As you know, running is the most affordable and effective way to get in shape, improve your health or improve physical performance. However, it is not enough to go to the stadium, the broken terrain and rush into the path. There are a lot of nuances that need to be done before jogging. Therefore, today we will analyze one of the important points in running training - warm-up. And, we also consider the preparation for marathons and sprint races of the official pace of the Moscow Marathon series, the prize winner of the Istanbul Marathon 2018, the fundraiser of the Life as a Miracle charity fund - Igor Lisnik.

Why do I need a warm-up?

Any workout can warm up muscles, ligaments and tissues. At this time, the muscles are saturated with oxygen and become more flexible, which reduces the risk of injury. Thus, by warming up we launch the energy reserves of the body in order to prepare it for intense physical activity.

So, we fix in more detail. Warm up is needed for:

  • launch energy reserves,
  • preparing muscles, ligaments and tissues for loads,
  • adjust the respiratory system
  • a hot body is easier to control.

Warm up for beginners

Warm up should start from top to bottom - from the neck to the feet.

Do not get involved in stretching. Easy enough to reach in all planes.

A pulse should not jump from a warm-up. Remember, you still have to run.

The duration of the warm-up is from 7 to 10 minutes.

Sprint workout

Running for short distances with maximum acceleration involves the following movements: swings of the upper and lower extremities, lunges, half-squats, inclines, rotation with the body and head. Such exercises warm the muscles, set the pace of breathing.

Turn your attention to performing movements. Remember, they should not be sharp, sloppy and fast. Inhale fully through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Do not hold your breath and try to exhale deeply as well, as during the run the muscles will sorely lack oxygen. And, such a study of breathing will help to effectively supply oxygen to the body.

Marathon workout

In the case of the marathon, add a few exercises: circular rotation of the legs, feet, hips, pelvis. After warming up, run 400 meters at medium speed, and then proceed to step. And once again open your mouth.

Why is it so important to warm up before running

Ask any, absolutely any athlete - it would be nice to warm up before each match, before each training session, even before each chess game.

Whether you run in the morning or in the evening - all this does not matter.

Warm up before running in the morning is very important, since we just woke up, the muscles after sleep are not elastic, you need to warm them up and stretch. Warm up before the evening run is also desirable, since many of us lead a sedentary lifestyle (in the office, at lectures at the university, etc.), we also need to stretch our back, warm up our muscles to the fullest for a comfortable run.

Where to start the workout

Remembering the exercise order is very simple. Everything here, as in a physical education lesson. Start with the head, end with the feet. The back is straight, legs shoulder-width apart, standing firmly on the ground.

  1. Neck warm up. The simplest part of the exercise is warming up the neck so that the head is clearly fixed while running. We do 4 tilts of the neck: up and down, left and right, do many repetitions - preferably 12-20. Then do neck movements clockwise and counterclockwise. And the last exercise for the neck before running is turning the head. We stand at one point and turn our head 180 degrees left and right, while the body is tightly fixed.
  2. Shoulders and arms. Warming up the shoulder and elbow joints is extremely important for running, so we do various rotations. We rotate our shoulders back and forth, 10-12 repetitions. We stretch our arms, bend our elbows and make movements in one direction or the other.
  3. Taz Corps. Before the morning and evening runs, it is important to fix the body so as not to strain the back (and it hurts many beginner runners). Hands in the castle, legs slightly wider than the shoulders, do twisting the body to the left and right (8-10 repetitions). Then we fix the lower back: hands on the waist, feet shoulder width apart, make circular rotations with the body around the vertical axis (4 times, legs and torso do not move).
  4. Legs. If you do not want to leave the race after a couple of minutes of running, you need a mandatory exercise for the legs. The first exercise: lift your left leg, put it at an angle of 90 degrees, the toe should look into the ground, and, as they say in physical education classes, "draw circles." The second exercise: the same stance, but already rotate the thigh (4 times in the forward and backward directions).

What else to do before running? It is important to stretch your knees, legs slightly wider than your shoulders, hands on your knees and do circular rotations. You can also do this with your legs closed.

A very popular exercise among football players Ankle. We put the sock on the ground and begin to make rotations, we do this as long as possible, preferably to failure, because the feet should be as tense as possible.

Pulling the knee to the chest + step

The target is quadriceps, gluteus, piriformis.

Pull one leg over the knee to the chest. Release and take a step forward. Change your foot. Then take the foot by the foot and knee, swing it, pulling it to the chest. Step forward. Change your foot.


The goal is the deep muscles of the hips and hip joint.

From the starting position while standing, bend the knee, raise it to the level of the thigh and turn it 90 degrees outward (if necessary, help with your hands). Return to starting position and repeat with the other leg.

Circular rotation of the arms

The target is the deltoid muscles, the upper back.

Starting position - standing, feet shoulder width apart, arms to the sides at shoulder height, palms down. Do a circular rotation with your hands for 30 seconds in both directions.

The target is the body, deltoid muscles, hamstrings.

From a standing position, lean forward, without bending your knees, touch the earth with your fingers. Hold for 2 seconds. Take two to three steps with your hands forward, then return to the starting position.

Frankenstein walk

The goal is the hamstrings.

Swing your foot forward, touch the fingers of this foot with your hands, and step at the same time. Take the next step with the swing with your other foot.

As you can see, the exercises are very simple and do not require much time to complete. It is also worth mentioning that any warm-up before running It provides blood outflow from organs to muscles, which means that the risk of cramping in the side is reduced, because of which we often have to go one step further.

The value of the warm-up before running

Many people ask themselves: do you need a warm-up before running? It's one thing if an athlete runs a long distance, it seems that yes, in this case, a warm-up is needed. It will take only a fraction of the entire training. But here’s a ten minute run. Do I need to warm up before her? Especially when time is limited, and it also takes time to warm up. It turns out that no matter how long you are going to run: five minutes or an hour, you need to warm up your legs before running. What does she give?

Beneficial effect on muscles and ligaments

Warm-up exercises increase the temperature of the ligaments and muscles, making them more flexible and elastic. This prevents possible injury. And due to the fact that the blood enters the muscles with a vengeance, saturating them with oxygen and nutrients, the latter gain the ability to more prolonged physical activity.

Particularly important is warming up in the morning, when the body has not yet woken up. Stiff muscles will not be able to provide the desired result. They are also prone to injury.

Prepares the body and mind for stress

Psychologically, both the body and the mind are prepared for the load:

  • proper breathing is established,
  • heart and lungs are being prepared
  • the body becomes controllable, which helps reduce falls and injuries during running,
  • stress is reduced for the body, which is very important for the nervous system.

Increases Weight Loss Efficiency

If running is used for weight loss, then warming up allows you to speed up this process due to the increasing metabolic rate. The duration of the warm-up is directly related to the duration of the run. But beginners should devote more time to it, since their body is not yet adapted to serious loads.

Exercise Options for a Warm-Up Before Easy Jogging

The type of run largely determines the duration and content of the workout. When running short distances, the warm-up complex should include simple elements for the development of flexibility. These include:

  • arms and legs,
  • lunges and semi-squats,
  • slopes
  • rotation of the head and body.

The minimum complex for several minutes will perfectly warm the muscles, give them elasticity and set up for work. When performing a warm-up, you need to remember the following nuances:

  • No to sudden movements
  • “Yes” to one’s own feelings.

A smooth stretch will not cause damage to the muscles, and listening to yourself will allow you to stop this or that element in time when pain occurs.

Warm up should be accompanied by proper breathing. It cannot be held back, inhalation should be made full breast through the nose, and exhalation through the mouth.

Variants of exercises for warming up over long distances

Proper warm-up preceding long-distance running should include other elements in addition to stretching exercises. First of all, this is the same run. You need to run a short distance at medium speed and go on to a step. Such a warm-up will prepare the body for a long run. After a warm-up run, fatigue should not be, but you need to sweat a little. Next, you need to perform a stretching complex and several respiratory elements again. If the distance is associated with obstacles or running over rough terrain, then you need to add elements to warm up the joints. This includes rotational exercises for the knees, hips, pelvis, legs, feet.

How to do a warm-up complex, so as not to harm yourself?

For novice athletes, the question is urgent: how to warm up before running. And the matter is not even in the exercises themselves, but in their sequence. It is better to start from the upper parts of the spine, smoothly moving to the lower ones. A standard run warm-up might look like this:

  1. Cervical spine. Start the workout from the neck, making smooth head tilts back and forth, left and right. Next, circular head rotations are needed.
  2. Arms. We extend our arms to the sides, standing up exactly with the setting of the foot shoulder width apart. We make rotations in different directions in the hands, then in the elbow joint, then in the shoulders.
  3. Body. To warm up the lower back, tilting the body to the left and right, back and forth is necessary.
  4. Legs. Next, you need to stretch your legs. To do this, first, standing on one leg, bend the second at an angle of 90 degrees and perform rotational movements, first in the knee joint, then in the ankle and hip joint. Repeat for the other leg.
  5. We finish the stretching warm-up, doing lunges forward alternately with each foot.

This complex will not take more than 5-7 minutes, but it will perfectly prepare the joints and muscles for work. In conclusion, we present a table in which we describe the actions that are not recommended to be done during the warm-up.

ActWhy not recommended?
Start warm-up - stretchingThere is a risk of injury.
Breakfast before workoutEating better after running
Long workoutWarming up for more than twenty minutes will lead to the fact that there will be no strength for the main training

Only the right approach to training can give a positive result. And the warm-up before running plays a decisive role here. Warming up in winter is especially important when not only awakening organism is affected not only by internal factors, but also by external factors associated with cold air, an abundance of precipitation and rough road surface.