Stoke the fire

Runner's World (UK) - - Winter Training -

This 10-minute cold-weather warm-up from en­durance coach Tom Craggs, which can be done in your house, gets your body primed to brave the cold in com­fort and in­jury-free ‘These five ex­er­cises are a com­bi­na­tion of ac­ti­va­tion of key mus­cles used in run­ning, and dy­namic stretch­ing,’ says Craggs. ‘ Do each ex­er­cise twice, for 45 sec­onds, with 15 sec­onds’ rest, be­fore mov­ing on to the next move.’

THE FIN­GER CRUSHER

WHY To en­gage your lower abs and ac­ti­vate your hip flex­ors.

HOW Lie on the floor in a sit-up po­si­tion. Place your hands un­der the arch in your back and en­gage your lower abs and pelvic floor to push your spine onto your hands (to ‘crush’ your fin­gers. Keep­ing the pres­sure, add al­ter­nate leg lifts (a few inches off the floor).

BRIDGE

WHY It wakes up the glutes, and de­vel­ops hip and spine sta­bil­ity.

HOW From a sit-up po­si­tion, en­gage your glutes and push your hips up to form a line from your shoulders through your hips and to your knees. Keep your hips high by squeez­ing your glutes. To add dif­fi­culty, ex­tend one leg at a time out in a straight line, hips held high.

AN­KLE/ CALF MO­BIL­I­SA­TION

WHY Pro­tects against Achilles, calf, shin and plan­tar is­sues.

HOW Stand­ing in a clear hall­way, lift one foot and very slowly put it back down, land­ing with the toe and ball of the foot first, rolling the rest of the foot down so the heel lands last. Re­peat with the other foot and con­tinue al­ter­nat­ing, mov­ing slowly back­wards as you go.

WALK­ING LUNGE

WHY Works the key run­ning mus­cles; strength­ens the core.

HOW Stand in a hall. With hands on hips, step for­ward with one foot into a lunge, your back heel lifted, squeez­ing the glute of your rear leg. Now use your front leg to stand up and bring your back leg into a lunge. Keep go­ing, toes, hips, knees and chest point­ing for­ward.

HAM­STRING SWEEP

WHY Stretches pos­te­rior chain.

HOW From stand­ing, put one leg straight out, with just your heel on the ground. Bend your back knee slightly and push your bum out as if you’re about to sit down. Reach for­ward and, hands dan­gling, sweep your arms for­ward and back­wards for 2-3 secs. Re­peat on the other leg; al­ter­nate ev­ery few sec­onds.

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