Hand walks are one of several exercises you should do before going for a run. *Photo supplied
Hand walks are one of several exercises you should do before going for a run. *Photo supplied

Have you ever gone out for a run only to come back feeling every joint in your body throbbing and aching? 

Why do we do it to ourselves? 

Every time we go running, we have to summon the motivation to grab our running shoes, tie up our laces and set our stopwatch.

For most of us, it’s a kind of ritual. But unfortunately, stretching and mobilizing is not usually part of this ritual!

That’s why, after you’ve been pounding the road, you start to feel everything else in your body has taken a pounding!

I know many of you runners will be preparing for the upcoming Renaissance Re 5 and 10-mile challenges.

So fear not. There is a solution. It’s Movement Preparation. 

Movement Preparation is a method of preparing the body for movement. It boosts heart rate, blood flow to the muscles and core temperature. It also improves the function of the nervous system.

Think of the Movement Prep routine as taking a few minutes to warm up your scooter’s engine that has been sitting outside in the rain all night. 

If you go through this checklist, you’ll be ready physically and mentally for your run. The end result will be a huge improvement in mobility, flexibility and stability on top of an increase of speed and power output by nearly 20% compared to static stretching.

Nearly all runners have at least one muscle group that’s completely shut off. This can cause other areas of the body to compensate, which ultimately leads to injury. 

An example would be the small muscles of the outer hips known as the Gluteus Medius which, if not engaged, will lead to lower-back problems, knee pain and groin strain! All common complaints I have had with runners.

Movement Prep can switch these muscles on in a matter of days. To reactivate these inactive areas we need to complete about 10 exercises that can be performed in a circuit prior to running. It requires no equipment and will probably take you about 5 minutes in total.

I generally go through 5-10 repetitions of each Movement Prep exercise; not only will it feel like part of your workout, at first it will feel like a workout in itself! 

But don’t worry, your body will quickly condition itself to the exercises and you’ll feel warmed up rather than worn down, and be better prepared for the run that follows.

Follow the Movement Prep circuit below.

• Hip Rolls

• Scorpion Kicks

• Calf Swings

• Hand Walks

• Inverted Hamstring

• Lateral Lunge

• Lunge into Forearm to Instep

• Backward Lunge with Twist

• Drop Lunge

• Sumo Squat to Stand. 


Colin Ayliffe is a certified personal trainer and holistic lifestyle coach with over 10 years’ experience in training clients. He graduated from the University of Surrey with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Science and is also a CHEK practitioner, golf biomechanic and is accredited by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.


Colin now blogs at CoconutFitness.com

Find out more at www.BermudaMay24.com. Colin has designed the only online training program for the Bermuda Half Marathon on May 24th. Coaching places are limited.