For pre-race warm-ups, you want to focus solely on dynamic stretches. They are best for pre-race warm-ups, because you want your body getting comfortable with the idea of moving. Dynamic stretches also help get the blood pumping throughout your body and the muscles warmed up. Here are our favorite dynamic stretches for our warm-ups.
Dynamic stretches mean stretches that require you to move your body in order for the stretch to occur. They are better for pre-race warm-ups because it gets your blood pumping and your body ready for a fast pace.
This dynamic stretch will help loosen up your legs and get you ready for a faster pace. The key to the exercise is to stay on the balls of your feet. To do this warm-up jog at a light pace, but instead of focusing on jogging, bring your heels all the way up and kick your glutes. When you land on the leg that kicked your glutes make sure that you land on the ball of that foot. When one leg is kicking your glutes the other should be bouncing on the ground. Think of it as a little jog.
The side stretch is a great warm-up for swimmers and triathletes. Start by lying on the ground on your right side. Keep your right leg straight, but bend the left leg 90 degrees, so it gives you stability. Both arms should be straight out in front of you, palms on top of each other. Imagine you need to make the biggest clap, so lift your left arm and stretch it all the way to the ground behind you. While you are lifting your left arm, follow your left arm with your head, so both your left arm and your head are moving side to side. Once you reach as far back as you can go with your left arm, come back to the starting position and repeat. Switch arms to stretch both sides.
picture courtesy of popsugar.com.au
A Skips and B Skips
Both of these warm-ups are a variation on skipping. The A-skip is almost a normal type of skipping. Raise your right leg almost like a high knee, the left hand should swing up when your right leg does. Point your hand towards the sky and keep your arms at a 90-degree angle. When the left leg lifts off, point the toe, before coming back down on the ball of the foot.
The B-skip is almost like reverse skipping. There is bounce in your movement but no extreme jump. Start by starting to skip, but instead of your right leg propel you up, you want to kick it straight out in front of you and focus on bringing it back down to the ground. Your leg does not have to be completely straight, but the motion should be fluid. Since you want the move to be fluid do not rest your weight on a flat foot, instead hold yourself up by the ball of your foot. This will help you focus on a wider stride.
Lunges and Squats
To do a lunge, start standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Kick your right leg out in front of you, not far enough to do a split but not too close to your start position. Then place your left foot back. You want your left foot to still be flat on the ground. Bend your right leg, making sure that your knees don’t go over your toes. When your right leg bends, dip your hips and let your left heel come off the ground.
To squat, start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Your arms should be straight out in front of you with palms facing the floor. Keep your back straight. Bring your hips down and back, your glutes will stick out a little. Try to bend to where your hips are sinking just below the knees, if you can’t that’s okay go as far as you can. To rise back up make sure your weight is mostly in your heels and stand back up.
This helps stretch out your quads and gets you ready for every portion of your race. To start, get on the ground on all fours. Your hands and knees should be shoulder width apart. Slowly, rock backwards until you are sitting on your hamstrings. Rock back forward and stretch your spine by curling it upwards. Continue rocking for about 10 reps.
For this move, keep both arms straight out in front of you. Then start walking. When you raise your left leg, keep your knees and back straight and try to get it as high as your left arm. Then when your left leg is on the ground, try to get your right leg to your right arms. This helps stretch out the back of the quads to get them ready for running and cycling.
Think of these as jogging in place. The main goal is to get your knees as high as possible to your chest. Land on the balls of your feet and then the heel, to stretch out your hamstrings.
Now that you are all stretched out and warmed up for your race, you’ll have no problem making it to the finish line. Remember to do static stretches after your race or workout to help your muscles replenish.