Fitness and Weight Loss Try this functional activation warm-up before your next run

Pound the pavement, not your body.

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Six months to one year. If it's becoming easier to slide them on, or if fibers are coming out of the material, you're likely not getting the full benefits . play

Six months to one year. If it's becoming easier to slide them on, or if fibers are coming out of the material, you're likely not getting the full benefits.

(Photograph by Getty Images)
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You know that full-body tightness you sometimes feel for the first couple of minutes of your run—the one that makes you wonder if you’re more out of shape than you thought you were? Yeah, that’s you not fully warmed up.

Before you pound the pavement this weekend, try this warm-up from React Physical Therapy owner David Reavy, who has helped athletes like Dwyane Wade and Matt Forte improve their mobility and performance.

Not only will you feel better throughout your run, you’ll be shielding your joints, muscles, and tendons from all kinds of potential injuries.

Reavy stopped by the MH Rec Room to show us this dynamic warm-up—or functional activation, as he calls it—that he created specifically for runners.

Using a handful of variations of the lunge, squat, Romanian deadlift, and calf raise, this “activation” does exactly that: It targets and activates the muscles you’re about to use.

One great aspect of this warm-up is that it requires little to no equipment. You could use a resistance band, just like Reavy does here; but a towel would work just fine, he says. Don’t have a towel? Take off your shirt and use that instead.

Try this warm-up before your next run and let us know if you felt the difference. Tag us (@menshealthmag) and Reavy (@davidreavy) in your posts on social media, and be sure to use the hashtag #MHRecRoom.

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