Basics to running (1): Warming up

04 November, 2013  

Image credit: VOXSPORTS

by Gloria Lin

There’s more to running than just running itself. In our Running 101 series, we will be taking a look at how you can improve your running experience - be it as someone looking to pick up running or even as a seasoned runner.

Importance of Warm-ups

As with most sports, warm-up exercises are important part of the routine. The purpose of warm-ups is to ease the muscles and lungs into more vigorous activity later on. Just like starting the engine of a car, our body needs time to get ready before more intense physical activity can take place. 

For warm up exercises, these consist of skipping - forward skipping, backward skipping, and both with arm swing - coupled with karaoke drills. Skipping loosens all leg muscles gently, with the variation including the arm swing being slightly more active as it awakens the arms and shoulders too. The important thing to keep in mind is to keep the steps light and natural. 

Karaoke Drills

Karaoke drills requires one to move sideways while criss-crossing one leg over the other by stepping out with the right foot and crossing the left – known as the trailing foot – over the right when it lands. This helps build strength and improve balance, thus it is important to do the drill again facing the other direction so that both sides of the body are worked evenly.

Another variation of karaoke drill is the high-knee version which calls for raising the knee of the trailing leg as high as possible when crossing over the other leg. This loosens the hip, in addition to the other benefits, but it is important to not force the leg up but rather do it naturally and relaxed.