Sunday, April 7, 2019

How to Stretch Before You Run

Stretching is the number one thing to incorporate in your regular exercise routines to minimize the chances of injury during workouts. Muscles need to be prepared and warmed up in order to function properly during the rigorous physical activity that will follow.

Stretches and stretch routines vary as much as there are different types of exercises and plans. If you’re to stretch before going for a run, you will concentrate on the core, hips, legs, calf, and ankle muscles. These are the muscles that will be used during jogging, so these parts of the body have to be warmed up before you hit the treadmill or pavement.

Warm-ups and stretches can help prevent injury and also increase your performance level during your workout or jog. It’s always a good idea to plan a few minutes before starting any activity to stretch out those muscles and get them prepared.

Do your stretches while focusing on the movement and not the number of repetitions. Feel your muscles and joints energize and warm up. Make your stretch routine count and let it be beneficial to your body.

Let’s warm up those muscles!

Stretching Before Running

Stretching the main muscles located in the hips and legs is recommended before running to energize and warm up the core muscles that you will be using during your run. Doing a few localized and effective stretches will warm up your muscles and your joints to help prevent injury and provide valuable energy to get going with your run.

Dynamic Stretches

The most effective stretches to do before a run are dynamic stretches as opposed to static stretches. The movements should be light and increasing. The muscles that you will want to concentrate on are your quads, glutes, hamstrings, hips, and calves.

5 Great Stretches for Runners

1. Hip Flexor Swing - This stretch helps improve hip mobility.
  • Hold on to something and stand on your right leg.
  • Swing the left one back and then forward. Build the stretch farther as you repeat. 
  • 15-20 repetitions on each leg

2. Hip Abductor – This stretch helps improve mobility
  • Hold on to something and stand on your right leg.
  • Swing your left leg crossways on top of the right one and then the other way. Build the stretch further as you repeat.
  • 15-20 repetitions for each leg.

3. Calf Raises – This stretch helps warm up the calf muscles
  • Stand on a step or a stair with the front of your feet firm and the back hanging.
  • Lower your heels past the stair.
  • Raise up on your toes.
  • 10-15 repetitions 
4. Lunge Walking – This stretch warms up hips
  • Large step forward with your right leg.
  • Bend until thigh is parallel to the ground.
  • Repeat with other leg.
  • 15-20 lunges.
5. Rotate Ankles – This stretch helps ankles flexibility
  • Sit on the floor and grab your right ankle.
  • Rotate your ankle in circular motion switching from clockwise to counterclockwise.
  • 15-20 repetitions for each ankle.

Stretching Before HIIT

Interval Sprint training has become increasingly popular in the last several years. There’s a good reason more and more people are hopping on the trend because it has proven to provide fast calorie burning and quick results.

Sprint training takes less time than a regular workout. Your body is subjected to short, intense periods of extreme exercise followed by short periods of rest and recovery. This is repeated several times over the course of approximately 25 minutes or so. This is meant to raise your heart rate to 80% or 90%, then bring it down a little but not completely.

Stretching before HIIT is different as you will want to warm up your muscles by mimicking the movements that you will be doing during your HIIT workout. It’s best to do dynamic stretches for pre-HIIT workouts. You want to slowly raise your heart rate and body temperature. A few minutes is sufficient to warm your muscles and prepare them for your interval sprint training.

Try These Quick and Easy Warm-Ups

When doing warmups before your HIIT workout, remember that the movement is important, not the number of repetitions. Focus on doing the movement fully and intently.

Jumping Jacks or Jumping Rope

Jumping jacks and jump rope are time-honored fitness workout warm-ups.
Try 2 minutes of one of these to get the heart pumping and muscles fired up.


Push-ups will get your core muscles into action and ready for your HIIT workout.
10 to 20 push-ups while engaging your core.


20 lunges will rev up the legs.

Arm Circles

10 to 15 Small arm circles clockwise and counterclockwise.
10 to 15 large arm circles clockwise and counterclockwise.

Stretching IS Important

Stretching is as important as you hear it said everywhere. Every fitness instructor or professional will tell you that warming up and preparing your body to do a physical activity is mandatory if you don’t want to hurt yourself.

Stretches shouldn’t take up too much time to be efficient. When done correctly you can get those muscles warmed up and ready for your workout in a few short minutes. There’s no use spending a lot of time and energy on stretches, energy that you will need for your run or your workout.

Adapt the type of stretches to the workout you are about to do. Think about the muscles that will be used and focus on warming those up. The core is always a good idea to prepare for any workout because it’s central in most movements we make.

Your stretches should be efficient; otherwise it's a waste of time even doing them. Listen to your body and don’t overstretch. Take the repetitions s gradually and build the flexibility until you fell the muscles and joints warm and not rigid.

You know you have had a successful stretching warmup when your muscles feel warm and your joints are flexible. That simple.

Don’t forget to stretch!

Sprinterval helps you get started with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) using sprints. Available for iOS & Android.

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