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How To Warm Up For Running

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Warming up thoroughly before any kind of physical exercise that may increase your heart rate, place pressure on your joints or challenge your muscles is extremely important.

This blog will explain how to use the RAMP protocol to warm up for your morning run. But don’t worry, these exercises are equally as applicable to anyone who swims, cycles or hikes and does any other form of exercise.

RAMP stands for raise, activate, mobilise and potentiation and is designed to help you warm up properly:

 

Raise

The aim of this section is to:

  • Increase heart rate
  • Increase body temperature
  • Increase blood flow
  • Increase breathing rate
  • Increase joint viscosity

While jogging itself can be an effective warm up, it can waste valuable time. In the winter, it can additionally waste light and heat too. The raise phase should aspire to be sports-specific while challenging your whole body to adapt to various surfaces, curbs and elevation changes.

For example, using a mix of Skipping, Shuttle runs, Heel flicks, High knees, and Star jumps. These exercises are great for raising your heart rate while using them in their range.

 

Activate

The aim of this stage is to activate key muscle groups, for running that would be your quadriceps, calves and gluteal muscles. Using muscle groups throughout their full range improves muscle-contraction when running and reduces the chance of injury whilst also improving performance.

Key exercises that could be used for running include; Squat jumps, High skips, Lunges and can include core activation and banded gluteus side steps.

 

Mobilise

The aim of this stage is to take every major joint you would use in your sport through its entire range of motion. This fully lubricates the joint and dynamically stretches the surrounding muscles –  again, reducing the chance of injury.

A few examples of this type of exercise include; standing hip hugs, opening the gate and lumbar rolls.

 

Potentiation

The aim of this phase is to ‘prime’ you for your session. This phase of the warm-up is fixated on exercises which improve performance. This, therefore, aims to build the explosive power a runner possesses in their legs.

This can be done through the use of plyometric training as well as using high-intensity, long stride running for 80-100M to prime the muscles to become more explosive on every stride.

By the way, if you need specific help with your warm-up routine or are struggling with an injury, make sure you talk to one of our physios here: PHYSIO

Thank you very much for reading,

George Stacey-Stevens

Physiotherapist at the Markland Clinic

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