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Workout of the Week

The 5-minute running warm-up to keep injuries at bay

woman stretching, 5 minute warm up for running by

The Couch to 5k mentality is causing an increase in knee injuries warns a top surgeon, advising that proper warm-ups should be performed before any type of exercise. Trainer David Marshall, owner of Royal Docks Crossfit has just the routine to improve your performance and reduce you risk of injury

A top surgeon has reported that there has been an influx of knee injuries from us Brits, no thanks to ditching warm ups in our eagerness to get fit.

Amir Qureshi, a consultant knee and limb reconstruction surgeon at University Hospital Southampton, has said that warm ups are no longer seen as ‘socially acceptable’ and blames the ‘couch to 5K mentality’.

Don’t be tempted to skip your warm up, as this is the key reason people get injured

‘I firmly believe we need a wholesale change in mindset when it comes to injury prevention in amateur and recreational sport,’  said Qureshi.

‘There is a growing belief you can go from nothing to all-out activity with no consequence, that has manifested itself further over recent years with what I call the ‘couch to 5k mentality’ among those looking to get back into physical activity’.

He also said doing a simple warm up routine can reduce the incidence of an anterior cruciate ligament injury (one of the most common knee injuries) by up to 70%.

Warm-ups should be performed before any type of exercise, but are no longer seen as socially acceptable according to Qureshi.

‘There is a tendency to skip warm-up routines and muscle conditioning exercises and concentrate on distance, whereas preparation and gradually increasing activity is where the focus should be,’ said Qureshi.

So basically, don’t be tempted to skip your warm up – as this is the key reason people get injured, and you really don’t want to be dealing with that.

David Marshall, owner of Royal Docks Crossfit brings you a sequence to help prevent injury from muscles getting repetitively stressed and get the body ready for plodding the pavement.

This warm up is a 9-step routine using two cones to travel to and from between each exercise (you can use anything though). Travelling slowly between the cones allows for maximum reps and increasing the heart rate to give you a great range of motion for your running, to help prevent injury.


  • Calf pumps x10
  • Heel flicks
  • Lunge with a twist (lunge then twist torso from side to side)
  • High knees
  • Straight leg swings
  • Heel flicks
  • Closing the gate (lifting the leg at a right angle then driving it forwards)
  • High knees
  • Hawaiian squats

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David Marshall is owner of Royal Docks CrossFit, one of London’s most successful CrossFit gyms and also owns BodySculpt studio in Tunbridge Wells. His athletic background lies mostly with rugby, where he played professionally for four years and an academic background in Coaching and Sport science as well as holding a Black Belt in TaeKwon Do. David has the tools, knowledge and proven track record to guarantee results for his clients.

Sophia Smith is a London based, certified personal trainer with apassion for fitness, people, food, and wellbeing. She adopts a holistic approach to health and fitness that incorporates functional training, nutrition and mindset. Follow Sophia on Instagram: @sophiasophia1

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