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Running Warm-Up

Gini Grimsley
May 21, 2024 / VASA Admin
Running Warm-Up

June is National Running Month, which means many new and seasoned runners are excited to rack up some miles now that the weather is nice. But before you set out on your daily run, don’t forget to warm up! Preparing your body for striking the ground with forces that measure six to eight times your body weight is imperative to avoiding injury and improving your running technique.

Here is a short warm-up that will set you up to have a great run, whether you’re hitting the pavement or the treadmill.


Female athlete on a treadmill at VASA Fitness



  • Foam roll the calves, quads, and glutes, spending about 45 seconds on each muscle group per side. Take slow, oscillating passes that find tender spots, also known as trigger points. Keep the pain level of the rolling to a three to four on a scale of 10.
  • Complete a few dynamic stretches like walking quad pulls, walking knee hugs, and forward lunges taking the elbow to the instep of the foot. Find a clear length of turf in the gym or grass outside that allows you to get at least 10 reps on each side.
  • Put some bounce in your step. High knees, butt kicks, and skipping allow the body to leave the ground for a split second per ground contact with each step. Start low and slow and gradually speed up the cadence of each movement. Take two to three passes per movement in the same space you used for your dynamic stretches.
  • Build up speed, and your heart rate, over time. Start with a jog, build to a run, and finish with a sprint. You might surprise yourself with how fast you can be after a good warm-up.

This running warm-up doesn’t take much time, space, or skill to complete. You’ll get the benefit of raising your heart rate gradually so you can flow right into your workout. Your joints will be lubricated, and your muscles will be activated so they are ready to manage the load of each step of your run.

Whether you’re an experienced runner or just starting out, getting a solid warm-up in before hitting the pavement will improve your running experience and possibly help you decrease your risk of injury. Happy running!