Warming up prior to a run is necessary for a number of different reasons. Ideally we warm up prior to in order to prepare our body and to decrease our risk of injury during the run. This consists of increasing blood flow to the proper muscles and activating them in order to increase our human performance and get the most out of each run.
One of the biggest debates in the runner community is “How do I properly warm up prior to activity?”. Growing up most of us were told to static stretch or hold stretches prior to running. Static stretching warm up were designed to improve your flexibility prior to activity, but it that what we really want?
Recent research has debunked static stretching prior to running. Research shows that stretching prior to activity may in fact decrease our force output, hence decreasing our overall human performance -‘Sports Med. 2017 Aug; 47(8):1531-1541’.
Other research has concluded the opposite for dynamic or active stretching. Dynamic stretching prior to activity has been shown to improve our human performance by having a positive influence on our power, speed, agility, strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity - ‘JSCR. 2008 July; 22(4):1286-1297’.
This research supports the use of the dynamic warm up prior to your run in order to optimize your human performance without affecting your force output in a negative way..
Creating an Effective Warmup
The smartest and most efficient warmup is one that gives your body a chance to loosen up, gradually increases your blood flow and heart rate, and prepares you for the intended sport. As a runner, it is extremely important that you warm up in order to decrease your risk of injury and optimize your human performance.