Time: 5-10 minutes
It is important to be doing a warm-up and cool-down session each and every time you go for a run. Failing to properly warm-up your muscles can result in painful strains, sprains, muscle tears, and even serious injury. If you are not the most flexible of folk, and unfamiliar with what stretches you should be doing, help is here! I have put together a great stretching sequence that can be used for both your warm-ups and cool-downs. Happy jogging!
A Warm-Up for Runners:
Hamstrings and Calves:
Stand with your feet set a few feet apart, toes facing forwards, then bend forward and try to touch the ground in the middle, at your left foot, and at your right foot, holding for at least 30 seconds.
Turn to your left leg, pointing your toes to the left as well, bend your left leg to a 90 degree angle and extend your right leg fully out behind you. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
Stand with your feet a few inches apart, then bend your left knee and bring the heel of your left foot up as close to your buttocks as possible, holding the back of your foot with your hand. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs.
Sit on the ground and cross your left ankle over your right knee. Then slowly raise your right knee towards your chest, keeping your back straight, until you feel the stretch through your left glute. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch and repeat on the other side.
After stretching your leg muscles, do a light, five-minute brisk walk or jog before speeding up and engaging in your actual run. When you are done with your run, cool-down with a five-minute walk or jog, and then do these stretches once again before calling it a day.