Create
Notifications

How Should You Warm Up Before a 5K? Here Are 7 Warm-up Exercises You Must Do Before Running!

How to warm up for a 5K? (Image via Pexels/Run FFWPU)
How to warm up for a 5K? (Image via Pexels/Run FFWPU)
Natalie P.

Getting ready for your first ever 5K? It can be quite intimidating, especially if you’re a beginner. Running an entire 5K means being in motion constantly. Even if you’ve got your portable water bottle ready with you, who could ever prepare you from cramps or muscle strains? What if your muscle pulls in the middle of the race?

As with any exercise, appropriate warm-up and cool-down protocol must be followed to ensure ease while running. Without proper warm-up, there is more room for injury or strains while participating in the 5K.


Warm-up exercises for a 5K

Here are some of the best exercises you can do to warm yourself up before a 5K. This list includes dynamic movements as well as isometric stretches.

1) Forward lunge

This stretch will open up your hip flexors and activate your hamstrings, glutes, and quads. It will also warm your ankles up.

  • Kneel down on the floor.
  • Bring your right leg out and place it about a foot ahead of you.
  • Lower your body into a lunge position and bring your left knee to rest on the ground.
  • Push your hips forward for a deeper stretch. Drive your right knee over your right foot.
  • Bring your right leg back to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the other side.
  • Repeat the movement for 4 to 5 reps on each side.
youtube-cover

2) Lateral lunge

Also known as the side lunge, this is a good stretch for the abductors and adductors. Opening them up can improve movement for your 5K.

  • Stand straight with your feet together.
  • Bring your right leg out to the side and place it about a foot to the right.
  • Ensuring both heels are planted on the floor, bend your right knee and drop your hips to the right side, allowing the left leg to extend fully.
  • Straighten your right knee out again to bring your hips up.
  • Bring your right leg back to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the other side.
  • Repeat the movement for 4 to 5 reps on each side.
youtube-cover

3) Knee to chest

This stretch opens up the hips as well as the glutes. This can prevent cramping in the midst of the 5K.

  • Stand straight with your feet together.
  • Bend your right knee and bring your right leg up. Pull it close to your chest with your arms.
  • Release the tension and bring your right leg back to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the other side.
  • Repeat the movement for 4 to 5 reps on each side.
youtube-cover

4) Calf stretch

Let’s not forget to stretch those calves! They’ll be taking on all of the weight of your 5K.

  • Stand straight with your feet together.
  • Bring your right leg out and place your foot a little ahead of you.
  • Lean forward while keeping your left leg straight but maintaining a slight bend in the right leg.
  • Grab the toes of your right foot and flex your foot upward, keeping your heel on the floor.
  • Release the tension and stand back up straight.
  • Bring your right leg back to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the other side.
  • Repeat the movement for 4 to 5 reps on each side.
youtube-cover

5) High knees

This is a dynamic exercise to get your heart rate up while getting your legs ready for the running they’re about to do.

  • Stand straight with your feet together.
  • Kick your right knee up to waist level.
  • As you return your right foot back to the floor, kick your left knee up to the same level.
  • Alternate this movement between both legs for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the exercise for 3 to 4 rounds.
youtube-cover

6) Butt kicks

Another dynamic warm-up exercise to prepare your quads and glutes for the 5K, as well as getting your sweat going.

  • Stand straight with your feet together.
  • Kick your right foot back towards the right side of your glutes.
  • As you return your right foot back to the floor, kick your left foot back to the same level.
  • Alternate this movement between both legs for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the exercise for 3 to 4 rounds.
youtube-cover

7) Jogging

What better way to prepare for a 5K run, than with a slow run? Jogging is just a slower version of running, but it’s an effective way to warm your body up for an actual run. It is recommended to jog at least 500 metres before setting off on a long run, or to at least maintain that pace for the first kilometre of the run.

Image via Pexels/Run FFWPU
Image via Pexels/Run FFWPU

Now that you know the best ways to get yourself warmed up for a 5K, don’t forget to add these pointers to your preparatory routine before your next (or first) 5-kilometre race. Don’t forget to hydrate yourself and get a cold shower in once you’re done. Best of luck!


live poll LIVE POLL

Q. Have you tried running a 5K?

Never.

A few times.

38 votes so far

Edited by Sabine Algur

Comments

Fetching more content...