Curated By Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.
It all comes down to this. You’ve piled up miles upon miles on the road, you’ve done your strength training, and you’ve eaten like a champ. And now Turkey Trot day has arrived, and you want to be at your best.
To do that, you won’t simply want to avoid the urge to just show up and run. Instead, take a few minutes before hitting the start line to prime your body with an ultra-quick warmup. Doing so will create total-body blood flow and ready your joints for the task ahead. It will also help you recover better after your run: One 2020 study showed that athletes who warmed up before doing weighted lunges had relatively ache-free muscles in the days after.
The best part: This won’t take long. Just set a timer for 5 minutes. Alternate these four moves until time’s up. (And if you’re not into running, you can use this warmup before any lower-body workout or cardio session too.)
WALKOUT TO SPIDERMAN
Start standing, then bend at the waist and place your hands on the ground, “walking” into pushup position. Then shift your right leg beside your right hand, stretching your hips. Repeat on the left side.
You’re loosening your hips for bigger running strides and firing up your abs, too. Do 4 to 6 reps.
This is my favorite pre-run stretch, a great way to prevent hamstring cramps when you run. Just take a small step forward, keeping your leg straight and foot flexed.
Drive your heel into the ground and then reach your hands as far down as possible, rounding your back for an upper body stretch too. Do 4 reps per side.
REVERSE LUNGE TO KNEE HUG
Next, you’ll create blood flow around your knees while also stretching your glutes and starting to mimic a running stride. Step back into a reverse lunge.
As you stand up, drive your back leg in front of your body and pull your knee toward your torso.
Make sure to stand tall as you do this. Do 4 to 6 reps per side. You’ll also gradually raise your heart rate, perfect for your run.
LATERAL LUNGE TO HIGH KNEE
Start standing, then step your right foot a few feet to the right. Bend your right knee and push your butt back. Explosively stand back up; as you do, drive your right knee high. Hold for one second.
You’re testing balance and strengthening your inner thigh muscles. Do 3 to 5 reps per side.
Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.
Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience. He’s logged training time with NFL athletes and track athletes.
His current training regimen includes weight training, HIIT conditioning, and yoga.
Ebenezer has had multiple prestigious positions including serving as a sports and tech columnist for the New York Daily News.