4 Stretches you should do before a run
Before any exercise it is really important to stretch, and most especially before running, which is a high impact sport where injury is not uncommon. If you begin to run while your muscles are cold and you haven’t stretched this can very easily lead to muscle straining, which can last for days. During your stretching you should focus on big muscle groups, i.e. your glutes, hamstrings and quads, etc., it is also important to focus on more dynamic stretches which are said to be a lot better in preparing your body for the exercise to come. We’ve put together the top four dynamic stretches you should incorporate into your run warm up regime today!
1. Walking Lunges
Walking lunges are hugely important to do before a run as they use and warm up the muscles prominently used for a run – what’s more, they stimulate the motion of running and moving forward, ultimately preparing your body for what’s to come. To do them step forward with your right leg, ensuring that it is at a 90-degree angle and that your knee is directly above your foot, drop your back leg towards the ground until it almost touches it. Finally, rise up and take a step forward with your left leg doing the same on the other side.
2. Side Stretch
In preparation for a run it is equally important to warm up your sides and not just your legs, even better it is extremely easy to do; from a standing position lift your arms over your head and then lean to the left and right – ensuring that your abdominals are tight and that you’re bending at your waist. Side stretches are another great dynamic movement, which warms up your midsection muscles in minutes!
3. Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Stretching your hip flexors, or inner hip muscles, is even more important if you work in an office and are in a state of habitual sitting for nearly 8 hours a day, every day, as this can lead to your hip flexors tightening. Hip flexors can are often the cause of a lot of pain and tightness for runners, and a great stretch to help ease this before a run is the kneeling hip flexor stretch. Start in a lunge position, again with your front knee at 90 degrees, and begin to slowly straighten your back leg – you’ll start feeling a stretch along the front of our back thigh. Raise your arms over your head and then hold before releasing, with every step forward lower your arms and then raise them again with every hold.
4. Hip Circles
Hip circles are another great dynamic warm up, simply stand with your feet hip width apart and then rotate your hips in circles, start clockwise and then anti-clockwise, an do equal amount either way.
It is important before any run to spend some time stretching, typically it is recommended to spend around 10 minutes doing a variety of dynamic stretches. The above suggested stretches focus on different areas of your body, and by starting your run with these, you’ll be starting with your best foot forward.
Tags: Exercise, fitness, sports, sports tips
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