You have the cold-weather gear and the mental mettle to take on a subfreezing run. But before you open the door, it's important to make sure your muscles are prepped. Stepping out into frigid temperatures with cold, tight muscles can be a recipe for injury, says Doug Herron, director of The Alaska Running Academy in Anchorage. "Warming up raises your heart rate, core temperature, and blood flow to your muscles, which minimizes the stress your body undergoes when you ask it to work hard in challenging conditions."
Herron recommends spending a few minutes warming up inside to get your body primed before heading out. For that, try this 10-minute dynamic yoga routine from Sage Rountree, author of The Athlete's Guide to Yoga.
These moves will generate heat and activate key muscles your body will call upon when you hit the road—specifically your core, glutes and hamstrings (plus, you can watch the entire video routine to follow along).
Do the poses in a nonstop sequence, maintaining a flow, on one side, then repeat on the other. Alternate sides for 10 rounds. Then put on your warm gear, get out there, and run!
Too cold for a full outdoor run? Try these Tips for Running Outside During Winter.
1. Mountain pose
Stand tall—hips, knees, and feet in alignment, shoulders stacked over hips, spine lengthened.
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2. Leg Lift
Inhale and lift both arms straight overhead as you raise your right leg, knee bent and thigh parallel to the floor.
3. Arrow Lunge
Exhale and step your raised leg back into a lunge. Hold your torso on a diagonal, your shoulders over your bent front knee.
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4. Warrior III
Inhale, and extend your right leg back while lowering your torso forward. Keep both parallel to the floor. Exhale.
More: Strength Train With Yoga
5. Leg Lift
Inhale, and simultaneously bring your right leg back to a leg lift as you raise your torso to an upright stance.
6. Mountain pose
Exhale, then lower your leg down, returning to Mountain Pose. Take a few slow breaths.race.