If only I knew these stretches when I used to run a whole lot more, I would have done them daily and every pre-and-post runs.

One of the best strategies for preparing to run is to do dynamic stretches before you run and static stretches after your run? When your muscles are “cold” before your run, you should not try to do static stretches, instead you should be “moving” through some movements. Here are some (not limited to) dynamic stretches that I find truly useful for myself and other runners.

I’ll share the static stretches in our next article..

1. Forward Leg Swings

  • Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and hold onto a wall.
  • Keeping one leg stationary, slowly swing the opposite leg forward and backward in a single smooth movement.
  • Switch sides and repeat until set is complete.

2. Side Leg Swings

  • Grab to a fixed object in front of you for support, keep the knee of the supporting leg soft, straighten and swing the other leg across your body in both directions.
  • Make sure range of motion comes from the hips and not from flexing and extending the lower back.
  • Only extend your range of motion as far as you can while generating the motion in the hips.
  • Switch sides and repeat until set is complete.

3. Leg Hurdles

  • Stand tall with your hands on your hips. Draw your right knee up to waist height, keeping the foot flexed and the spine long and shoulders wide.
  • Rotate through your hip to bring your knee out to your right, keeping it parallel to the ground.
  • Switch sides and repeat until set is complete.

4. Standing quad (front of the thigh) stretch

  • Stand tall with support or not, bend the knee (of the leg you are stretching) and grab the foot behind you.

5. Hamstring to calf stretch

  • Stand with one leg extended in front of you. Sit back, like you are sitting back on a chair with your back straight.
  • Come out of the hamstring stretch and lean forward on the extended leg, with knee over the ankle, stretching the calf of the back leg.
  • Switch sides and repeat until set is complete.

6. Standing TFL and IT-Band stretch

  • Stand tall with the right leg cross over the left.
  • Lean to the left to stretch the TFL. Then bend over slowly to the opposite side to stretch the ITB (you should feel it in the back of the knee of your left leg to the ankle).
  • Switch sides and repeat until set is complete.

Try these out and let me know if they are useful to you!

P.S. And truly, you don’t have to be a runner or an athlete to be doing these stretches. If you find yourself sitting most of your day, these stretches are awesome for you too! Try them with support whenever necessary.

Live life well, Annie