Pre-run Dynamic Mobility

By Kristina Pattison, DPT, OCS, CSCS from Alpine Physical Therapy 

Run Wild Missoula just started the annual Missoula Marathon training class. As runners begin to prepare for summer races, a few simple training tactics can significantly reduce risk for developing injuries while building mileage. One is the pre-run dynamic mobility routine. 

Dynamic stretching is known to improve running performance by increasing time to exhaustion at high intensities (3-5k pace)1. And it is also known to increase running economy and reduce perceived effort at submaximal aerobic intensities (70% of VO2max)2. These improvements are attributed to increased joint range of motion, increased circulation and temperature of muscles, improved nerve conduction, and increased elasticity of tendons2. Additionally, these changes reduce risk for injury. Repeat each motion for 15-20 reps or for a minute prior to your run.  

Single Leg squat for weight acceptance:  

Stand with one foot on a chair. Keep standing leg glute engaged while bending and straightening standing leg. Ensure the standing foot is pointed straight forward and the knee stays over the top of the foot.

Heel Raise for push off:  

Stand with one foot on a chair. Keep quad and glute engaged on the standing leg while raising and lowering the heel. Ensure the foot is pointing straight forward.  

Lunge knee extensions for push off:  

Long lunge with hands on either side of the front foot or on the front knee. Keep the back glute engaged and bend and straighten the back knee for range of motion of the hips.  

Lunge trunk rotations for arm swing:  

Long lunge with hands on either side of the front foot. Rotate trunk toward the front leg, reaching arm up to the sky. Follow the arm with your head, then return to start to encourage mobility of the trunk and open the chest.  

Lunge hip flexion and extension for swing leg range of motion:  

Half kneel on one knee, hands on the front knee. Bend and straighten the front knee to mobilize the hips, hamstrings and quads.  

About the Author:

Kristina Pattison is a Missoula, Montana based runner focused on mountain, ultra, sky and trail. Locally, she works as a physical therapist for Alpine Physical Therapy at the Peak Health and Wellness Center Downtown. She is board certified in orthopedics and certified as a specialist in strength and conditioning. 

Formerly, Kristina worked as a wildland firefighter and Missoula Smokejumper. She is passionate about helping athletes dream big and achieve their goals. Contact Kristina today about coaching through Flight Phase Coaching.  


1. Yamaguchi, Taichi1; Takizawa, Kazuki2; Shibata, Keisuke3 Acute Effect of Dynamic Stretching on Endurance Running Performance in Well-Trained Male Runners, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: November 2015 – Volume 29 – Issue 11 – p 3045-3052 doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000969 

2. Faelli E, Panascì M, Ferrando V, et al. The Effect of Static and Dynamic Stretching during Warm-Up on Running Economy and Perception of Effort in Recreational Endurance Runners. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(16):8386. Published 2021 Aug 8. doi:10.3390/ijerph18168386