CALL US TODAY 682-708-9833

Why are warm-up exercises crucial for runners?

It’s often debated among running enthusiasts whether warm-up exercises are worth the time and effort. Some may skip them in favor of jumping straight into their run, but evidence and expert opinion suggest that properly warming up is more than just a ritual; it’s a critical component in a runner’s routine. Warm-up exercises help prevent injury, boost performance, and improve flexibility.

Scientific Evidence on Warm-Ups

  • Research in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research highlights dynamic warm-ups boosting sprint performance and agility.
  • British Journal of Sports Medicine associates dynamic stretching with lower muscle strain injuries. 
  • American College of Sports Medicine underscores warm-ups’ role in body temperature regulation, improving anaerobic and aerobic performance.

Expert Views on Warm-Ups

Physical therapists and sports medicine experts stress the benefits of pre-run routines to prepare the body for running impact.

Role of Physical Therapists

Physical therapists are the unsung heroes who guide runners through individualized warm-up routines tailored to their needs, optimizing performance, and minimizing the risk of injury.

Sample Dynamic Warm-Up Routine for Runners

Here’s a bullet-point list of dynamic stretches and exercises designed for runners:

  • Leg Swings: Stand on one leg and swing the other leg forward and back. Repeat on each side 10-12 times.
  • Lunge with a Twist: Perform a forward lunge and add a twist towards the knee in front. Alternate legs and perform 5-8 lunges on each side.
  • High Knees: Run in place lifting your knees as high as possible. Continue for 30 seconds.
  • Butt Kicks: Jog in place while kicking your heels up to touch your buttocks. Perform for 30 seconds.
  • Arm Circles: Extend your arms and perform small to large circles to warm up the shoulders. Do 15 seconds clockwise and 15 seconds counterclockwise.
  • Hip Circles: Place your hands on your hips and perform circular hip movements. Do 10 circles in each direction.


Research and experts strongly advocate warm-up exercises as vital for runners. These routines not only prep muscles and joints but also mentally gear you up for the run. Collaborating with a physical therapist for a tailored warm-up can boost your running performance and longevity in the sport. Remember, dedicating a few minutes to warming up could be the key to your best run!

Shamaine Physiophyx PT

Dr. Sharmaine Longsworth

DPT, CIDN, Owner and Founder of Physiophyx PT

"We Help People Get Rid of Pain & Injuries and Return to an Active Lifestyle Without Pain Meds, Injections, or Surgery."
Scroll to Top