Sometimes, I talk to my muscles. At the end of my long run, when I feel my legs starting to give out, I say in my head, “Okay muscles, time to kick into gear! This is what we trained for!” And at that moment, my hamstrings and glutes fire, and I feel as driven as if I’ve pressed the NOS button on a car. Fast and furious movies.
As it turns out, this is something you can both prepare for and train ahead of time by warming up properly. In this 10-minute mobility warmup for a run, Barry’s trainer and Nike running coach Sasha Handal leads you through active exercises for the muscles you’ll need to recruit as you log those miles.
“When you’re running long distances, and those quads get tired, you have to pull all the muscles to get through your entire distance,” says Handal. Our quads and the front of our legs are the default muscles we use most in distance running, but to actually go that distance we need our glutes and hamstrings to activate and warm up the back of our legs,” says Handal.
That way, when I say, “Okay muscles, time to kick into gear,” they’ll know what to do.
To prepare our muscles for this run, Handel incorporates three elements into this workout: stretching, strengthening, and building heat. These are exactly the ingredients for a good warmup: you need to get your blood pumping, you need to prepare your muscles for action (or “activate” them), and you need to lubricate your joints.
That last point is essential: Mobility refers to the range of motion of your joints and their surrounding systems. Since the main joints you’ll be using for long periods of time are your hips, the handle includes plenty of hip openers along with moves like lunges that wake up your leg muscles as you run at an efficient pace to find mobility.
Can you feel the heat? Well, you’re ready to run!