What’s The Best Way To Warm Up For Runners?

I get this question a lot… “What’s the best way to warm up for runners?”

It depends! You don’t NEED to “warm up” before you run… In fact, a lot of other types of athletes use running as a warm-up. Some people feel “stiff” or “cold” when they start to run, and maybe for these individuals, dedicating a few minutes to get some “blood pumping” can be beneficial.

Let’s face it. The first few minutes of running can sometimes suck, and warming up in some way can make that initial transition into running feel better.

Fitness Walking

This is a simple way to start moving and get your heart rate slightly elevated. I mean fast walking is the closest thing we have to running!

Marching Drills

These are great and a favorite of mine to program with my coaching and rehab clients. Look back at the marching-specific post I did not too long ago.

Bodyweight Exercises

Also includes “dynamic stretching.” Just get moving in ways that feel good!

Isometric Exercises

These are great for prep muscles to work, and they can also help to alleviate pain in individuals who may be coming back from injury and have been cleared to return to running.


Running is a moderately plyometric activity, and performing pogo hops prior to running can be a great way of preparing the body. Pogo hops are also a great way to check in with any lingering injuries, so you don’t start running straight into a limp. Plyos also have been shown to potentially improve running economy when performed prior to running.

Feel like you need to warm up before running? Try some of these and see how you like them!

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Thanks for reading! If you’d like to learn more about who we are and what we do, click this link: https://upandrunningpt.com/

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Dr. AJ Cohen

Up And Running Physical Therapy

"We Help Runners And Active Adults In The Fort Collins Area Overcome Injury And Be Stronger Than Ever, Avoid Unnecessary Time Off, All Without Medications, Injections, Or Surgery."