Warm-Up Exercises for Running in Cold Weather

Warm-Up Exercises for Running on Cold Days

Especially in winter but also on cold days in the fall and spring when the temperature drops, it seems to take much longer to get into runs. How should you properly warm up for running in cold weather conditions?

running in cold weather
Low temperatures make muscles tighter and less elastic.

Exercising in the winter is considerably different than a summer workout. Colder temperatures require runners to prepare their bodies for a longer period of time.

The cold weather conditions makes muscles tighter and less elastic, so muscles are way more likely to be injured.

A great mobilising routine of about 10 minutes will warm up the muscles to prevent tears and injuries, and help you to perform to your best.

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Do the following warm-up exercises in the same order, as they gradually take your body through greater ranges of motion.
lunges_warm up in cold weather
Just by moving in three planes of motion you’ll engage most muscle groups of the upper and lower limbs, and core.

1 Start by imagining you’re in the centre of a clock face. Put your hands on your hips, lunge forward with your right foot to 12 o’clock, keeping your body upright and your tummy tight, and come back to the centre. Then lunge to your side, to 3 o’clock, then 9 o’clock in a sort of ‘curtsey’ fashion where your right foot lunges behind your stationary left foot. Finally, lunge backwards to 6 o’clock, before swapping to move the left foot around the clock.

2 Raise the other (straight) arm into the air above your head as you lunge around the clock.

3 Lift both arms into the air as you lunge around the clock.

4 Finally, carry out the last set again (both arms in the air), but this time, twice around the clock, and a little faster.

This hip mobiliser will engage the muscle groups that play a vital role in most large, whole body movements, i.e the glutes and quads. These muscles also play a significant role in supporting your backbone and pelvis.

Lifting the arms will also help you to mobilise the shoulder joint and girdle, vital in most upper body exercises, and allow for proper posture to be maintained through the upper part of your spine.

Just by moving in three planes of motion (forwards/backwards; side to side; and rotation) you’ll engage most muscle groups of the upper and lower limbs, and core.

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Written by Jenny Nickelson

Jenny Nickelson has been a sports enthusiast since childhood. Because of her deep love to water, she started training swimming in early years. Today she swears on variety and does it all: from swimming, running and cycling to fitness, skiing, dancing and mountaineering.


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