We runners love to run, but we often neglect the warmup. We would much rather get straight into the part we love – running. We have to bear in mind, however, that warming up can keep injuries at bay which could keep us away from our beloved sport for months. Warming up allows your body to prepare for the impending hard workout – minimising the risk of injury.
Bear in mind, the stretches you do pre-run and post-run are different. Pre-run stretches are dynamic stretched. They bring you through a range of motion that better prepares your body for the sporting activity ahead. The range of motion will mimic the sporting motion. It is a form of active movement. You start with a slow jog to warm up your muscles before moving on to these 3 very important stretches you should do before every run!
#1 Leg Swings
Brace your body against a wall or pole to support yourself. Stand firmly with one leg on the ground. Swing your leg up and down. Gradually increase its range of motion till as high as you can comfortably go. You should keep your legs fairly straight but should not lock your knees. These help warm up your hip flexors, hip extensors, hip adductors, and hip abductors. This movement really helps you open up your hips.
#2 Side Leg Swings
Similarly to leg swings, support yourself against a wall. Swing your body to the side, extending slowly to a comfortable height. Swing your leg such that it crosses the front of your body. This is another movement that helps open up your hips – very important for every runner.
#3 Walking Lunges
Walking lunges warm up your quadricep muscles. Do about 30 seconds for 3 sets and your quads will be all fired up. You will be ready to go. Don’t overdo it because it’s meant to warm up your muscles, not a full-blown strength workout!
Here you go – three must do stretches before you head out for your run. It makes a great warm up and gets you all ready for your run! You never know – these 3 stretches could be what keeps a nagging injury away!