5 Stretches Before Running
You may be pumped up and ready to run, but pausing for 10 to 15 minutes to perform your pre-running stretches will benefit you in more ways than one! Stretching before a run helps to ease your muscles into ‘running mode’, and helps to prevent possible muscle injuries. In addition, pre-running stretches also reduce the muscle soreness that hits your body after a vigorous running session, and can also enhance your performance on the running track. So now that you are up to speed with the importance of stretching before a run, here are a few pointers that need to be remembered while performing the running stretches before your session: avoid bouncing during your stretching exercises as this may damage the muscles instead of warming them up; perform the running stretches slowly and gradually and hold each stretch for 30 to 40 seconds; never push your body till the point of pain or discomfort.
Now that you have been briefed about the benefits of stretching before a run and what to keep in mind while performing the exercises, let’s take a look at the pre-running stretches!
Stretching Before A Run # 1- Hamstring Stretch!
Giving your hamstrings a mild stretch before the run is crucial to prevent you from sustaining any painful leg injuries during the run. Lie down on your back, on the floor or on the exercise mat. Lift one foot up towards the sky, and bend the other knee so that the other foot is pressed flat against the floor. Throw a towel over the raised foot so that it loops over the center of the foot. Hold onto both sides of the towel and pull on it gently as you push against the towel with your foot. Remember that this is a mild stretch so do not push past the initial muscle contraction. Repeat the sequence with the other foot.
Stretching Before A Run # 2- Calf Stretch!
Position yourself in front of a wall, maintaining a distance of 3 feet from the wall. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and press them flat against the ground. Extend your arms straight out in front of you and place your hands on the wall. Slowly lean your hips forward and bend your knees gently in order to stretch the calves.
Stretching Before A Run # 3- The Back Stretch!
This exercise is one of the easiest running stretches to warm up the shoulders and triceps. Grip your right elbow with the left hand. Use your left hand to push the elbow up and towards the left side of the body until your hand is able to reach down to your back. Allow your hand to go down your back as much as is comfortably possible for you. Repeat the sequence using the left elbow and the right hand.
Stretching Before A Run # 4- The Bridge Stretch!
This exercise is an effective and simple running stretch to warm up the quadriceps and lower back muscles. Lie down on your back on the floor or on the exercise mat. Bend your knees, keeping your feet pressed flat against the floor. Now lift your hips upwards till the point where your body forms a straight plane. Repeat the bridge stretch sequence 10 times in 30 seconds.
Stretching Before A Run # 5- The Groin Stretch!
Position yourself on the floor or exercise mat with the soles of the feet pressed against each other. Place your elbows on the inside of the knees, gradually tilt your upper body forward and press your knees towards the floor.