5 Best Stretches to Do Before Running to Avoid Injury

Best stretches to do before running to avoid injury (Image via Unsplash/Benn McGuinness)
Best stretches to do before running to avoid injury (Image via Unsplash/Benn McGuinness)

Including pre-workout stretches in your daily running regimen can help you run faster, minimize your chances of injury, and make your miles feel more enjoyable overall. There are numerous advantages of running that you may harvest by putting on your running shoes on a regular basis. If you really want to maximize your results, do some simple stretches before you run.

Stretching before a run ensures that your muscles are properly warmed up and prepared for the motions ahead. When muscles warm up, they respond better to the stress that the body places on them.

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Running with unprepared muscles can cause a muscular strain that will keep you off your feet – and off the trail— for days, weeks, or even months. Stretching on a regular basis improves mobility, allowing joints to move through their full range of motion, and helps muscles operate more efficiently.

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5 Best Stretches to Do Before Running

Are you ready to go for a run? Here are five stretches for your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, abs, back, and calves to do before running.

1. Standing quad stretch


The quadriceps muscles, also known as "quads," are the muscles in the front of the thigh. Running and riding can produce tight quads if they are not properly stretched. When these muscles become tense and tight, they can cause hip and back misalignment, resulting in pain.

· Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your back straight. Place your left hand on a wall or a solid object for balance if necessary.

· Bring the right foot up behind the body towards the buttocks, bending the right knee.

· With your right hand, grab your right foot.

· Maintain the right knee's alignment with the floor and gently push the hips forward, keeping the knees and thighs together.

· Switch legs after 30 seconds of holding.

2. Seated hamstring stretch


The hamstrings are a group of big muscles that go up the backs of the thighs. The hip flexors, gluteal muscles, and calves are connected to them. Lower back and knee pain can occur when the hamstrings are stressed.

· Sit on the floor with your right leg extended and your left leg bowed, knees on the ground. The inside of the right thigh should receive your left foot.

· Bend forward at the waist while maintaining a straight back.

· Feel the stretch at the back of the leg by holding onto the right foot, ankle, or lower thigh (depending on flexibility).

· For 30 seconds, stay in this position.

Rep with the opposite leg after returning to a sitting position.

3. Lateral (side) lunges


Lateral lunges stretch out the quad all the way to the shoulder and open the channel for more oxygen to get in when you breathe, preparing you for the single-leg load you'll encounter during the run.

· Stand with your feet slightly wider apart than your hips.

· Lunge to the right side, keeping your knees from going past your toes.

· Rep on the left side, then return to your starting position.

4. Standing Dynamic Hamstring/Calf Stretch


Tight calves are a common complaint among runners, and they can cause a variety of problems. The hamstrings are a powerful muscle group that propels you forward while you run. The Standing Dynamic hamstring/calf stretch involves both hamstring and calves.

· Stand with your feet hip-distance apart.

· Flex the right foot's heel, which should be around 12 inches in front of you.

· Shift your weight onto the left leg while bending it slightly at the knee and sending your hips back, keeping the right leg straight.

· Stay in this position and point your right foot, holding it there for 5 seconds before flexing it for 5 seconds.

Repeat 3-5 times for each leg.

5. Butt Kicker


Butt kickers are another important stretching technique. They focus on hip flexors, ankles, knees and quads.

· Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, your core engaged, and your hands in the small of your back, one on top of the other.

· Jog in place while stomping your heels high to tap your butt. Attempt to bring your heels as close as possible to your glutes. One rep equals one kick on each side, plus one kick on the other side.

It's also vital not to overstretch prior to your workout. Simply stretch until you sense resistance, rather than pain or discomfort. Stretches should not cause pain, and if they do, you should stop immediately.

Poll : Do you regularly stretch before running?

Obviously, I do.

Not every time.

53 votes

Edited by Diptanil Roy
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