The Best Stretching Routine To Do Before Running

13/05/2020

A regular exercise regimen is important at all times, never more than when social distancing measures are enforced in Sydney. Cycling, swimming and team sports are all great ways to bust a sweat, but what’s probably the easiest way to get your heart rate up and your muscles moving is to go for a run. Running for 20 minutes a day is an effective weight loss strategy when coupled with responsible eating and more physical activity, however, you can seriously injure yourself if you’re not prepared to do the hard yards before and after you finish running. Stretches for runners takes time and practice, but if you warm up your muscles before embarking on your daily journey you prepare yourself for the increased strain experienced during your run.

Best Stretches For Quadriceps

To stretch your quadriceps, stand on one leg with the same arm stretched out. Raise your other foot behind you, and grab your foot with the corresponding hand and pull slowly, until you feel the pressure. Hold for 10 seconds and release, then do the other. Do this three times, breathing slowly. The quadriceps are the strongest and leanest of all the muscles in the leg and stretching them out properly before exercise is important.

Dynamic Stretching Examples – Hamstrings

‘Pulling a hammy’ is one of the most common injuries faced by runners and can sustain permanent injury. Pulling a hamstring often happens in a flash and can be terribly painful. To stretch your hamstring, extend one foot out in front of you, keeping your heel on the ground and your toes raised. Reach over and grab your toes with the corresponding hand. Keep your leg as straight as possible during this motion and pull slowly on the muscle until you feel the strain. Don’t overdo it, but hold for ten seconds, breathing, then release. Repeat three times for each leg. This motion will also apply pressure to your calves which is needed before going for a run.

Active Stretching – Shoulders

Reach directly across your chest with one hand, extending it as far as you can while cradling your triceps with your other elbow. Push with your extended arm and pull with your cradle to stretch the shoulder muscle on the extended side and the opposite lung. Repeat this for the other side to ensure your upper body is just as warm as your lower body before running. While it may not seem obvious, you consistently move your shoulders and arms while jogging, and its best practice to keep your body in tandem by stretching before you begin.

These exercises are especially useful for before running, but can be done at any time before commencing exercise. Be sure to do the same exercises when warming down too to ensure your muscles don’t constrict too quickly and cramp post-run. For more physio advice, continue reading our blog. If you need to make an appointment because you’ve pulled something or otherwise, you can reach our office on 02 9557 9272.