The Standard Warm-Up: Video Demonstration

by Jason Fitzgerald

The Standard Warm-up is a dynamic flexibility and stretching routine that is done before you run. This series of light strength exercises and mobility drills help prepare your body to work harder.

What I love about this routine is that it takes about 8 minutes once you learn the order of exercises. You can do it in your living room and it’s a great way to reduce injury risk, help you feel better during your workout, and wake your body up before morning runs.

It works by increasing your core body temperature, opening capillaries, lubricating joints, and loosening your muscles. These are all the things that a warm-up should do. Static stretching is a thing of the past (except after runs, where it doesn’t hurt) and is essentially useless before you run.

If you typically run after sitting down at an office job, it’s crucial that you prepare yourself for a workout or even an easy run. A full 8-9 hours of sitting wreaks havoc on your body, typically resulting in poor posture, stiff muscles, and tight hamstrings. The Standard Warm-up can counteract some of the ill effects of sitting for prolonged periods.

You don’t need any equipment to perform this routine and it can be modified for use in a cramped hotel room, parking lot, or wherever you are before you go running.

  1. Walking Deadlifts (Drinking Bird) – 10 reps.  Take a step forward with your left leg, bend down while keeping your left leg fairly straight and touch your left toes with both hands.  Keep your left leg slightly bent and your right leg parallel to the floor. Your right leg and your torso will be parallel to the floor.  Repeat on your other leg.
  2. Knee Hugs - 10 reps.
  3. Groiners – 20 reps.
  4. Donkey Kicks – 10 reps.
  5. Mountain Climbers – 20 reps with legs in, 20 reps with legs out.
  6. Iron Cross - 10 reps.
  7. Lunge Matrix - 2-10 reps per lunge type.
  8. Leg Swings - 10 reps.
  9. Lateral Leg Swings – 10 reps.

A few things to keep in mind during this video:

  • Don’t round your back while doing walking dead lifts. Unfortunately, my form isn’t great in the video.
  • Do the routine barefoot for extra foot strength.
  • If any exercise is too difficult, you know you have something to work on. However, if it hurts then don’t do it.
  • Once you’re familiar with the exercises, you can do this every day before you run. I recommend you learn other types of warm-ups for variation, though.
  • You can do this routine as a warm-down after you run to help you loosen up; it’s not strictly limited to before running.

If you always forget these exercises, join the SR Private List below and get a custom-made illustration of the entire routine (free).

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