What is the best warm-up for running?

Although a thorough warm-up may add time to your workout, it is an important part of your routine and should not be skipped or skimped upon. Runners who do not adequately warm up prior to training are at greater risk of injury and poor performance. Ann Alayanak, a coach from the University of Dayton who earned seventh place at the U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials in 2008 says, “A proper warm-up increases heart rate, breathing rate, and blood flow to the muscles. It prepares the body for increasingly vigorous activity, allows it to work more efficiently and reduces injury risk by loosening you up.”

Following are some recommendations from the American Running Association for the best warm-up exercises to prepare you for running, whether you are only a casual runner or are training for the Olympics:

  1. Keeping your legs slightly bent, jump rope for a few minutes, landing on the balls of your feet and flexing your ankles to push off the ground.
  2. Starting with your knees bent at about 30 degrees, slowly lower yourself into a half-squat, and slowly rise up again. Repeat 5 times.
  3. With your knees flexed about 45 degrees, hop approximately 3 feet from side to side, keeping your knees flexed and landing as lightly as possible.
  4. Stand on a surface that is slanted upwards, rise up onto the balls of your feet and hold the position for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
  5. Walk or sprint up and down a set of stairs. If stairs are not readily available, you can use a box for stepping up and down.
  6. Put your hand on a chair (or a wall) next to you for balance and raise one leg while simultaneously bending the opposite knee until you are in a half-squat on one leg. Repeat with the opposite leg, then do another 15 to 20 reps.
  7. While leaning with your back to a wall, with your feet approximately a foot away from it, lift your toes and the balls of your feet as high as you can, pivoting from the ankle. Lower your toes near the floor, without touching it, then lift them again. After repeating this 15 to 20 times, rest for 20 seconds, and do another set.
  8. Do 10 sets of lunges, alternating legs each time. Try to keep your knee from bending more than 90 degrees, keeping the knee positioned directly above your heel. The leg behind you should be slightly bent.
  9. Starting with your knees slightly bent, dip down then jump up as high as possible, coming down with your knees bent, and immediately jumping up again. Continue jumping up and down like this 10 times, then rest for about 30 seconds and repeat the set once or twice more.

How Does Chiropractic Help Increase Range of Motion and Flexibility

When we’re younger, it’s easy to take our extensive range of motion and flexibility for granted.  But as we age, a number of health conditions and the cumulative effects of wear and tear can affect our ability to move the way we used to.  When this happens it can be difficult to carry on the activities of daily life.  Even things as simple as picking something up off the floor or tying your shoes can be challenging activities when your movements are curtailed.  Luckily, regular chiropractic care can help increase both range of motion and flexibility.

flexibility chiropractic denver

A study performed in 2001 by researchers at the Phillip Chiropractic Research Centre of RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic adjustments increased range of motion in the 105 patients who participated in the study.  There were three phases of this study, in which each of the participants was given no adjustments, fake adjustments or true adjustments.  In each phase, the patients who were given the true adjustments showed a significant improvement in range of motion, which was not the case for the other two groups.

A decrease in range of motion and flexibility can result in a downward spiral of disability.  An injury or degenerative condition can cause pain, swelling and stiffness, limiting flexibility and range of motion.  So we avoid activities that involve the affected body parts, either consciously or unconsciously.  This then becomes a classic case of “use it or lose it”.  Without regular exercise, the muscles and joints stiffen, adhesions and scar tissue can form, and mobility is further reduced.  Eventually, a person can become completely incapacitated.

A chiropractor uses spinal adjustments and manipulations to other parts of the body to realign the bones and joints so as to reduce pain, restore range of motion, and improve flexibility, balance and coordination.  These adjustments may be performed manually, or other techniques may be used to increase circulation and improve function, such as Active Release Technique.  Dr. Carly May can also recommend specific exercises that can be done at home to increase your strength and flexibility so that you’re able to maintain and build upon the gains from your chiropractic adjustments.

Many people restrict their activities due to back pain, which is the most common complaint of those who enter a chiropractor’s office.  Regular chiropractic care can reduce or eliminate the source of your back and joint pain, allowing you to resume your normal activities and to remain more flexible into your golden years.

1720 South Bellaire Street, Suite 406 | Denver, CO 80222 | Denver Sports and Family Chiropractic Center LLC 2012