Pre-Run Warm Up Drills

Too many times we roll out of bed and bust out the door for our morning runs. This leaves us feeling lethargic, stiff and uncoordinated. After long sedentary periods our brain is not efficient in communicating to our muscles and the neuromuscular pathways are often not firing. We can be more successful in our running, warm up and overall feeling for our workout if we “wake up” and activate the muscles before we head out the door. Consider adding a short routine to your morning or post work running routine, to get the body more prepared to run. Here are some of the exercises we think can be effective and simple to do. We suggest motions that emphasize mobilization and activation of the glutes, hips and ankles. These are often areas that are locked during sedentary periods. 

The Routine 

Good Mornings: Think of this as a deadlift without a bar. With the legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart and with a slightly bent knee, bend at the hips and then slowly straighten. Make sure you keep your glutes engaged at the finish. (8-10) 


Butterfly: Lay on your back with feet about a foot away from your bum, let knees fall out to the side and bring back in. (8-10) 

Groiners: On your bum bring your knee to your opposite knee to opposite ankle and repeat on each side. (8-10 each way)

Alphabet Ankles: Use your feet to “draw the alphabet.” 


  1. CAROLYN CARPINO's avatar
    | Permalink
    Are there versions of these warm up exercises that we can do standing up? I don't take a nap with me when I go to where I run and I certainly don't want to lay on the ground
  2. Alana Scarano's avatar
    Alana Scarano
    | Permalink
    Hey Carolyn! The first exercise and the last exercise you can do standing. If you don't want to do the middle two, try doing a lunge matrix (front lunge, side lunge and back lunge x5 each leg each way) this is another great way to open up the hips and activate the glutes. I like to keep a mat in my car for purpose of pre/post run work. The one pictured, I purchased for $5 at TJ Max! I encourage my athletes to do this, it helps keep them accountable to doing the little things that keep the body happy and healthy pre/post run!

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