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The Anyone-Can-Run Workout Plan

Warm up with these moves to make running feel easier

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Skip that old-school hurdler’s stretch! Research shows that prepping your muscles with dynamic moves versus simply holding a position can help prevent injury and may even make running feel easier. (Who doesn’t want that?) Try 2 sets of these four exercises from Paul Vincent, owner of Training Adventure in Los Angeles, before you hit the road, trail, or treadmill. Then, after your run, cool down with the roller backbend.

You’ll need:
A supportive sports bra, a pair of running shoes (click here for some of our faves), and a foam roller.

Try this with our 5 Weeks to a 5K plan.

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Single-leg Hop

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WORKS LEGS, BUTT, AND CORE; STRETCHES ANKLE EXTENSORS

Stand with weight on left leg, right knee bent and arms at sides and squat [A].

Jump up as you reach arms overhead [B]; repeat. Do 5 reps, then switch sides to complete set.

Lunge Twist

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WORKS LEGS AND BUTT; STRETCHES HIP FLEXORS AND BACK

Stand with arms at sides and lunge forward with right leg until thigh is parallel to the ground [A].

Rotate torso to the right and reach right hand toward left heel as you raise left arm straight up [B]. Step back to starting position and repeat. Do 10 reps, then switch sides to complete set.

Overhead Squat

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WORKS LEGS, BUTT, AND SHOULDERS; STRETCHES CALVES

Stand with feet wider than shoulders and arms overhead, palms facing away from you [A].

Squat [B], rise up, and repeat. Do 10 reps.

Knee-to-Elbow Plank

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WORKS ARMS, SHOULDERS, CHEST, BUTT, AND CORE; STRETCHES HAMSTRINGS

Get in plank position, with wrists under shoulders, body aligned from head to heels. Bring right knee to outside of right arm [A].

Extend leg behind you [B], and repeat. Do 5 reps; switch sides to complete set.

ROLLER BACKBEND

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This move stretches your core and hip flexors, which work hard when you run. To unwind back knots, scoot up and down on the roller, pausing when you reach a tight area.

Place a foam roller on the ground and sit facing away from it, legs extended in front of you. Lie back as you reach arms overhead, palms facing up [shown]. Take 3 to 5 deep breaths, then slowly roll up to starting position. Repeat.