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Tip: Be ready to move in all directions. The Lunge Warm Up is nonnegotiable for strong running. - NikeRunning.com

Published by
NikeTF.com - Nike High School Track and Field   May 29th 2012, 11:33pm

Be ready to move in all directions. The Lunge Warm Up is nonnegotiable for strong running.


There is a famous strength and conditioning coach I admire named Vern Gambetta, whose roots are in track and field. When he is helping coaches’ design their training plans he often asks the question, "Is that exercise/routine/workout a 'Need to Do' or a 'Nice to Do?'" 


While I know it looks a bit odd and will likely make you sore the first couple of weeks you do it, the Lunge Warm Up is definitely a "Need to Do" routine. The five simple lunges that compose the warm up will get you moving in all three planes of motion: front and back, side to side, and twisting around your center of gravity. 


Unlike a dancer who is moving in all three planes of motion throughout a practice or a performance, a runner spends most of his or her time moving forward, with just a touch of twisting movement. As a runner, you have a better chance of staying injury-free if you can retain the athleticism you brought to running, and if you can move well in all three planes of motion.


Unfortunately, most runners lose a great deal of athleticism as they run more miles. But that doesn't have to happen. You can still be functionally competent in all three planes of motion while logging lots of miles, but only if you engage in routines and activities that foster that type of functional movement. 


So commit to doing the Lunge Warm Up before each run, even if your quads are a bit sore for a few days. Soon the soreness will be gone, and the strength and symmetry you gain from doing the warm up before every run will help keep you injury free—allowing you to run more miles and at higher intensities.




*Coach Jay's advice is provided as general training information. Use at your own risk. Always consult with your own heath care provider for questions relating to your specific training and nutrition.

Interested in Coach Jay's General Strength Videos and other training tips? Check out the Nike Running facebook notes section.

Always be in-the-know. Follow Nike Running on Facebook.

And don't forget, if you have a training question for Coach Jay, email him here:coachjay@nike.com.

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