On April 13th I posted this article for anyone looking to challenge themselves with a half marathon and will be starting from scratch.  Follow this program and add to it these warm up exercises.  Start each training session with a 5 min power walk and complete each of the following four exercises.

(On a side note, anyone who is planning on starting a new health program and has pre- existing medical conditions or any other health concerns should always consult their doctor before beginning.)

1 - Leg swings.  Working on your balance, stand on 1 foot and swing your other leg forward and backwards through its full range of motion.  Complete 10-15 reps on each side.  This will loosen up the hip area as it stretches all the muscles that surround the pelvis.

2 - Standing four stretch.  Standing on one leg, place the opposite ankle on top of the knee and balance.  Slowly lower your hips behind you, as if you are sitting into a chair, until you feel a gentle stretch of the glute muscles.  Hold for 2 seconds then stand back up tall while keeping your arms extended towards the sky.  Repeat 10 – 15 times on each side.

3 - Pikes.  In a push up position, lower your hips towards the ground while keeping your arms straight.  Engaging through your lower abs, explosively lift your hips up into the air, while keeping your body weight over your hands and your core muscles.  You should lower on a count of 3 seconds and lift on a count of 1.  Start with sets of 10 and as you become stronger work your way to 15, then 20.

4 - High knee/butt kicks.  Staying in one spot start “jogging” on the spot ensuring your knees are coming high and your heels are being pulled up to your sit bones (try to touch your heels to your ass while lifting up your knees) by engaging your hamstrings.  Pick an object in your vision to stare at while doing this exercise and make sure that object does not move within your vision, as this will ensure your upper body is remaining as still as possible.  Do 5 seconds at a slow pace then 5 seconds at a tempo pace, making sure while you go slow you are still moving in your full range of motion.  Repeat 6 times for a total of 60 seconds.