Injury Prevention: Dynamic Warm Up Video

Risk of injury increases anytime you try new training techniques, ramp up the intensity of your training, or take on familiar, yet hard workouts on a weekly basis.  To reduce the risk of injury and give your body a chance to perform its best, make sure to include more than just a slow warm up jog before you pick up the pace.   By more, we mean include some dynamic warm up exercises to get the glutes, abdominals quads, hips flexors and hamstrings warmed up and ready for action in workouts such as hill training, track workout, strength exercises or even tempo runs.

A few of our favorite dynamic warmup exercises include high knees, butt kicks, side to side, karaoke and single leg swings.  Watch our video for demonstrations of each or read our descriptions below.  Either way, make sure to incorporate some sort of dynamic warm up before your high intensity workouts!

High Knees: Stand with your arms by your sides. Raise one knee up and forward, swing opposite arm.  Bring this foot down and raise the other.  Repeat movement coming forward. Continue for 30 seconds.

Butt Kicks: As you run, kick your heels to your butt. Goal is to kick your butt as many times as possible in 30 seconds. Keep back straight.

Side to Side:  Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and up on your toes.  Swing your arms up over your head opening up your abdominals and spine as you hop off one foot taking a wide step.   Let your arms swing down and back up again as you continue to slide side to side for 30 seconds up to one minute.  Repeat facing the opposite direction.

Karaoke:  Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, and cross your right foot in front of your left foot keeping your hips and upper body straight and facing out. Continue to cross the opposite foot in front of the other.  Continue for 30 seconds and then repeat facing the opposite direction for 30 seconds.

Straight Leg Swing:  Stand with feet hip-width apart.  Swing one leg straight in front of you and then swing back behind you keeping back straight and pelvic square.   Repeat for 30 seconds to one minute on each side.  Modified:  Find something on the same side as the leg you are swing to hold on to for balance.

Tip of the Week: Tools to Aid Recovery

Recovery is a major aspect of any training plan (from a 10k race to a marathon). It's just as important as the long run or the weekly tempo run. Recovery can be an overlooked and often forgotten part of your training.  Here are a few recovery products that travel with us and can be used just about anywhere - we highly recommend all of them!

What our Run Recovery video to see our favorite products.

The Stick: we use the "Sprinter Stick" because it's firm and short. You control the pressure, either getting a light or deep massage. Great to use on the legs and easy to pack!

The Grid, from Trigger Point Therapy. This is a light weight, versatile foam roller. We like it because it's a 1/4 of the size of a foam roller, firmer and hollow (great for packing!)

Airex Balance Pad.  This balance pad, which we bought at the suggestion of our Physical Therapy, is a training tool that combines exercise and balance skill to improve strength and coordination. We love it for strengthening our ankles and knees.

A Few Abcember Videos for the Holidays

For all the visual learners out there, we recorded videos explaining four of the more complicated Abcember exercises to help you through the final week of 2011.  Look forward to lots more videos in 2012  . . . and excuses for six pack abs.

  1. Start in the push up plank position with abs tight and arms straight.  Hands shoulder-width apart and wrists under your shoulders.

  2. Bend left arm to bring the elbow and forearm to the ground.

  3. Bring right arm down so you are in plank position with your forearms on the ground (elbows on the ground directly under your shoulders.

  4. Push back up to the start position with left & then right arm. Repeat lowering the right side first.  Alternate lowering and raising your arms for 30 seconds working up to 1 minute.

  1. Start standing and bring your arms to the ground in front of your feet bending only at the hips - keep your legs and back straight.

  2. Walk your hands out in front of you until you are in push up plank position with your arms straight, hands shoulder-width apart, abs tights and back straight.

  3. Bend right knee up towards your right elbow, trying to touch your knee to the outside of your elbow - your shins should remain parallel to the ground.  Repeat on the left side.

  4. Walk your hands back to your feet bending at the hips with legs and back remaining straight.

  5. Stand upright and raise your arms above your head.

  6. Repeat for 1 minute.

  1. Kneel on all fours with back flat and wrists under your shoulders.  Extend the left arm and right leg out.

  2. Squeeze your abs as you bring left elbow and right knee together under your torso.  Curl your back up as you bring them in.

  3. Hold for 3 seconds in both extended out and crunched in positions. Repeat one side for 30 seconds and then switch sides.

  1. Sit with your knees bent and feet a few inches off the floor (modified: leave your feet on the floor).

  2. Keeping your back straight, lean back until your abs burn.

  3. Clasp your hands together and bring your arms straight out touching the ground outside of your right hip with your hands.

  4. Rotate through the upper body to bring your hands up over the opposite shoulder, then down to the same hip, and repeat. Repeat for 30 seconds and then switch to other side for 30 seconds.

  5. Keep head facing forward and back straight throughout the entire exercise.