By Scott Quill, Athletes' Performance
Have you ever thought of running as jumping and landing thousands of times in a single workout, oftentimes while moving at top speed? When you think of it this way, touching your toes and just starting out slow hardly seems like a sufficient warm-up.
A better approach includes activating the muscles you’ll use in your miCoach workout during a dynamic warm-up. We call it Movement Preparation, or Movement Prep, because it prepares your body to move.
“You’ll increase your core body temperature, elongate muscles, and activate key areas for running,” says Craig Friedman, vice president of the Performance Innovation Team at Athletes’ Performance.
This series of movements also benefits your body on a neurological level, Friedman says. It opens the pathways your brain uses to send messages to your muscles and also helps ingrain proper movement patterns. Simply put, this makes you a more efficient runner.
Here are four more ways Movement Prep will make you better:
1. Movement Prep helps balance your body
Every time your foot hits the ground, your body has to rebalance itself. Training your balance dynamically with Movement Prep will prepare you to do this.
2. Movement Prep improves flexibility
You’ll develop new ranges of motion by actively elongating and contracting muscles. Initially, this gets rid of stiffness. Stay consistent with your Movement Prep routine and you’ll maintain your newfound flexibility better.
3. Movement Prep creates symmetry in your stride
Either a lack of mobility or stability in your body can lead to an asymmetrical stride length where one limb is compensating for another. This typically leads to decreased performance, pain or injury. Movement Prep helps clear up these asymmetries.
4. Movement Prep boosts power, strength and endurance
You’ll move more efficiently, which means you’ll cover more distance with the same amount of effort and energy, and you can push off the ground with more power in every stride.
Spend a few minutes doing Movement Prep at the start of your next miCoach workout. To add a Movement Prep routine to your training plan, go to Training Plans, choose your training, and then click on the link that says “customize your plan with single workouts.” Choose a warm-up that includes 5 to 10 minutes of Movement Prep.