If you were like me as a college runner, you hated doing running stretches before and after training. I’d do it with the group, but if I was on my own that day, I’d often skip it altogether.
I was busy–and I thought stretching was BORING. I just wanted to hit the road and get into my workout right away. But, over time I realized how my lack of running stretches left me with sore, tight muscles and contributed to injuries that could have been prevented.
Pre-workout running stretches don’t have to take a ton of time. Even ten minutes or so can dramatically improve your running form and help you feel stronger, run faster, and prevent injuries.
Pro Tip: While pre-run dynamic stretching is crucial–so is deeper, post-run static stretching. Don’t forget to practice stretching at the end of your run. Stretching after a workout is just as important as beforehand to prevent stiffness and keep your muscles and joints healthy.
Let’s follow along with Nate to learn about running stretches that help us open our joints and prime our muscles for an excellent, enjoyable run that pushes us one step closer to our goals.
This initial exercise starts to get your heart rate up and helps open your joints.
This stretch is awesome for opening the hips and getting the blood flowing in your legs.
We’ll roll right into this stretch from the lateral lunge to continue to loosen and strengthen the hips and legs, also well as your groin and glutes.
Once you’ve completed the hip circles, stay down in the lunge position and walk back your hands back over to the other side. It’s time for elbow touches to finish warming up the hips.
By now, your legs and hips should be warm and ready to run. You’ll finish up with some arm circles to get your arms on board and promote a relaxed, arm swing with your stride.
That’s it! It shouldn’t take you more than ten minutes to complete these dynamic running stretches that set you up for a great run.
Interested in learning about more running stretches? Check out our YouTube playlist full of strength training workouts! Also, be sure to check out our list of training programs for runners of every level today!