Like other sports, running can put your body at risk of injuries. But the risk is higher when you don’t stretch properly before going for a run. Running with cold muscles results in a strain that may keep you off the road for days, weeks, or even months. No wonder trainers always remind runners to never forget their pre-run stretches, such as the following:
When running, your calf muscles contract. It is vital to warm them up to prevent straining these muscles during the run. Do a simple dynamic calf raise by standing on the edge of a curb or a stair, with your heels hanging over the edge. Rise up using your toes and then slowly lower your heels until you feel a stretch on your calf muscle. You can repeat this stretch for a few times or just do it one foot a time. Stretching trainers from Kinian.net also suggest the use of traction and stretching tool to perform the calf raise even better.
Walking lunges help you warm up the major muscle groups — the hip flexors and the quads — you’ll heavily use during the run. Also, walking lunges simulate the forward motion of running; hence, they’re ideal as a pre-run stretch, according to a number of triathlon coaches. To perform this stretch, start by standing with your feet together. Using your right foot, take a long step forward then bend your right knee to 90 degrees and your left knee towards the floor. Repeat this stretch using your left leg, and perform at least 10 lunges for each leg.
Your legs and feet are not the only body parts that bear a lot of impacts when you’re running — your hips will be working too. So, give your hips a much-deserved pre-run stretch by doing a few minutes of hip circles, as always advised by a number of trainers. How to do this stretch? Just stand with your hands on your hips and then, rotate your hips in one direction like you’re hula-hooping.
With these three stretches, you can properly warm up the core muscle groups that are vital for running. You can do other dynamic stretches too, but you should never forget to perform the three mentioned in this article.