Spring in NYC is the perfect time for runners to lace up their sneakers and hit the ground running. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or you’re gearing up for your very first race, you can be sure there are a lot of ways to prepare. For starters, you’ll need to get moving—and by that, we don’t only mean running. Of course, you’ll want to create a routine that includes plenty of running at various paces and distances, but it’s equally important to condition your body to build endurance.
Full body strengthening is essential for runners looking to cross the finish line in less time and with less risk of pain, strain, and other injuries. Performing P.volve’s functional moves in tandem with cardio helps reduce inflammation and improve posture—two common hurdles for runners and athletes alike.
The 5 moves below can be incorporated into your warmup before training runs. And if you're not a runner but still want to reap the benefits, pair the moves with dynamic stretches for a full body, low-intensity session.
Running Man Arms
The Move: Start in a wide step-back with heel up, ball of the foot engaging down into the floor. Hug your arms into your sides, palms facing in, with a 90° bend in those elbows. Rotate 45° into the stabilizing hip, taking the extended leg from 6 o’clock to about 4 o’clock. Simultaneously drive your same arm up, keeping the 90° bend in the elbow, and rotate the opposite arm back.
The Benefits: Although leg strength and stride are important when it comes to running, the “arm swing” also contributes to generating speed and aiding in a good race time. This move focuses on that “arm swing” and gets our shoulders nice and lubricated for a greater range of motion—like when trekking up the steep hills on this Central Park route. There is also a deep stretch down the hip flexor of that extended leg.
Runner's Lunge, Tap Down
The Move: Start in a runner’s lunge, hand framing out that front foot, with knee stacked over the ankle in a 90°. Start with leg extended back long and strong then tap the knee down to the floor for a moment, and then stretch it back long. Resist against the floor with the stabilizing heel to keep the work in the glute.
The Benefits: The main benefit here is to really feel the stretch in that extended leg; you’re warming up the entire front side of that leg, opening up the hip flexor, and at the same time creating strength in the stabilizing glute for explosive race-day strength.
Step-Back & Reach
The Move: This move is a staple here at P.volve and is used in almost every warm-up sequence. Step back long and land with the heel up, ball of the foot engaging down into the floor. Keep that leg extended, glute engaged, and reach the hands up toward the ceiling, allowing your eyes and chin to follow.
The Benefits: Again, we are focusing on opening up the hip here, which aids in increased range of motion and better movement while running. The arms reaching up create a stretch in the stomach, increasing core strength. Keeping some depth in our step-back increases our stability and balance.
Glider Pull-In, Plank Position
The Move: Start in a plank position, with both feet on the gliders. Pull the knees up in line with the hips, stretch them back long.
The Benefits: This exercise really helps to build a stronger core (and back) and, in turn, improves running form.
The Move: Start in a step-back position, heel up, and arms long in line with your ears. Hinge into the stabilizing hip (flexion) while keeping your spine long and your core engaged. Once your chest and arms are parallel to the floor, sweep the arms down and frame out that front foot. After that, drive into the stabilizing glute to rise up with control and strength.
The Benefits: The benefits here include the aforementioned stretch in the extended leg and hip flexor. Open hips, better range of motion, better form while running. Gained strength in the glutes here is also a benefit, as well as learning to move with control and being aware of bodily alignment—all things which also contribute to being a great runner.