If you are doing a workout, do these activation exercises first! This routine takes five minutes and it makes all the difference. We start out with focused exercises that activate and mobilize key running areas (back and core, glutes, feet, and calves). The motions get bigger and more functional throughout with walking and lunging. The skips at the end are the transition to running movement. Each exercise is 30 seconds in length.
- Cat Cow - This exercise is all about the synchronization of breath and movement. Start in table position, with hands under shoulders and knees and feet hip width apart. On inhale, soften the belly towards the floor. On exhale, draw the belly button in and round the back.
- Glute Bridges - Bend your knees and position your feet flat on the ground, hip width apart. Then drive your heels and upper back to lift your glutes off the ground. Drive your hips up as high as possible and squeeze your glutes for 2-3 seconds and lower back to the ground.
- Toe Yoga -Focus on pushing the big toe into the ground while lifting the four other toes. Release and repeat for 30 seconds. This activates the muscles and tendons in the foot/arch/ankle.
- Ankle Rotation -Stand straight and upright, raise one foot off the ground and rotate the raised foot and ankle slowly in different directions.
- Toy Soldiers - Keep your head tall as you gently pull your knee to your chest and foot to your glutes.
- Lunge Sequence - Lunge to the front, lunge to the side, to the other side, and then lunge to the back. Six reps of each lunge. For the back lunge, stand tall, and initiate the backward movement by first bending your knee to 90 degrees, then activating your glute/hamstring to push your foot back as far as possible before touching the ground.
- Curtsy - Heal to ground in front of you, bend the back leg and keep the front leg straight, bend to sweep the ground alongside your ankles. Keep back as straight as possible as you bend. You should feel this along the back of your leg. Flex back your foot more to feel more in the calf, straighten lower back more to feel more in the glute/hammy
- Karaoke - Shuffle side to side, karaoke side to side, twist upper body in the opposite direction as hips for spine mobility.
When you complete this routine, you’ll be primed and ready to run.