7 Running Drills to Warm Up the Right Way

Drill #1: High Knees
The Focus: Increase lower-body flexibility and explosion off the ground.
The How-To: Use a short stride and bounce on your toes. Raise your knees as high as possible on each stride. Continue to move your arms in a running motion while keeping your eyes and head up.

Drill #2: B Skips
The Focus: Lengthen the hamstring to improve flexibility.
The How-To: Start in perfect running position. Raise your knee to form a 90-degree angle. Extend the lower part of the leg out so that it's as straight as possible. In one quick motion, pull the leg down to the ground, remembering to keep your leg straight. Stay on the balls of your feet.

More: 10 Tips for Pre-Run Warm-Ups

Drill #3: Skipping with High Knees
The Focus: Improved power and upward acceleration.
The How-To: Bring your right knee and left arm up while pushing upward off your left leg. Stay on the balls of your feet and land on your left leg. Immediately bring your left knee and right arm up while pushing off of your right foot. Skip as high as possible while bringing the lifted knee toward your chest.

Drill #4: Butt Kickers
The Focus: Improves speed.
The How-To: Use a short stride and bounce on your toes. Raise your heels as high as possible under your butt. Stay on the balls of your feet. The goal is to bring your heel to your butt as quickly as possible.

Drill #5: Forward Leg Swing
The Focus: Improve range of motion and increase flexibility of your glutes and hamstrings.
The How-To: Use a support to help yourself balance. Turn sideways (so that the support is on one side of the body) with both feet directly under the hips. Swing the inside leg forward and backward. Keep your leg straight and gradually increase the range of motion. Complete two sets of 15 for each leg.

More: A Better Pre-Run Warm-Up: 5 Moves in 20 Minutes

Drill #6: Side Leg Swings
The Focus: Stretch the hip flexors, hip extensors, hip adductors and hip abductors.
The How-To: Face a wall with both of your arms outstretched against it. Swing one leg away from the body and then across the front of the body. Keep your leg straight. Increase the range of motion gradually until you reach your max comfortable height. Complete two sets of 15 for each leg.

Drill #7: Strides
The Focus: Preps your body to run at a quicker pace.
The How-To: Begin at a slow pace and gradually increase your speed until you reach 75 meters. Save this exercise for last and complete at least four repetitions before your event.

More: The 4 Best Form Drills to Improve Your Running Technique

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