Top Warmup/Injury Prevention Exercises for Runners (Lower Body) – Impulse Training

Top Warmup/Injury Prevention Exercises for Runners (Lower Body)

Tim Carter | September 25, 2018

We hear it every day. The most important part of your workout is the warmup.  How we prepare our body and activate muscle groups determines the success of the workout.

I believe in a 5-10 minute dynamic warmup and 5 minute focus on injury prevention before hitting the weights, conditioning or training runs.  Below are some of my “go-to” joint integrity exercises.

The muscles worked include your Groin, Lower Back, Hip Flexors, Hamstrings and Glutes.

1.) Fire Hydrants/Dirty Dog (2 sets x 15/side)

  • Start on your hands and knees (All Fours). Hands and Knees should be shoulder width apart
  • “Engage the core”- For a simple instruction, tuck your hips and suck your belly in
  • Keep your back flat and slowly raise your right knee out to the side and lowering back down to the floor, without shifting your body.
  • Complete this motion for 15 reps then repeat on the left side

2.) Forward/Backward Hip Circles (2 sets x 10/side)

  • Stay on All Fours. Hands and knees still shoulder width apart
  • Core engagement should be similar to the first exercise
  • Raise right knee out to the side and rotate the knee forward making small, slow circles.Repeat this motion making small, slow circles in reverse (5 reps each)
  • Complete the forward and backward motion for 10 reps total, then repeat on left side

3.) Bird Dog (2 sets x 10/side)

  • Start on hands and knees (All Fours). Hands and Knees should be shoulder width apart.
  • This movement requires opposite arm and leg joint movements (Right Arm/Left Leg; Left Arm/Right Leg)
  • As one, slowly extend your left leg straight and your right arm straight out in front while maintaining an engaged core. Your arm and leg should be level with your flattened back.
  • Once the arm and leg are extended slowly lower each into the beginning All Four position.Repeat this movement for 10 reps, then switch (Left Arm/Right Leg)

4.) Bodyweight Single Leg RDL or Single Leg Toe Touch/Hamstring Kickback (1×10/side)

  • This next move requires extensive balance with a focus on single-leg movement. Benefits include improved running mechanics, hip stability and strength in the posterior chain
  • Balancing on the slightly bent right leg and flat back, bend forward at the waist as your left leg slowly kicks back simultaneously. Return to the start position slowly and repeat for desired reps.
  • Complete movement on right leg, then repeat on left side for desired reps
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Tim Carter

Tim Carter is a former collegiate football player at Walsh University and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing in 2015. He was a 4-year letter winner, named 3 time Academic-All American and 2-Time GLIAC All-Conference team. After graduating from Walsh, he began his professional career as an Admissions Counselor at Walsh University and Assistant Football Coach for the program. He recently earned his Master of Business Administration-Marketing Degree in December of 2017. As of July 2018, he has transitioned into the Assistant Director position within the Undergraduate Admissions Office at Walsh University.

In addition, Tim is a certified USAW Sports Performance coach and is currently working towards his CPT and CSCS. He is also heavily involved in working with youth athletes as Vice President of Beyond the Game, a non-profit organization centralized in Stark County. His personal mantra of “Find A Way” has helped him establish a resilient mindset, which he hopes to instill within others.


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