It is important to stretch before you engage in any form of exercise. Stretching helps you to keep your muscles flexible and it helps to avoid muscle cramp and tearing. Warming up before stretching and jogging are also recommended by most doctors. Do you know? When muscles are warmed up, your muscles are more adaptable to vigorous exercise.
Warming up should be easy like a casual stroll and it should take about 5 to 10 minutes to get the circulation going throughout the body. Do these 5 effective stretches to target core muscle areas for runners before and after a run.
#1 Before Running | Standing Lunge Stretch
This is a rather straightforward stretch for the entire body. As you stretch, keep your arms engaged, spine straight and open up your chest.
This standing lunge stretch helps to lengthen these muscles and provide better flexibility and range of motion. For variation, you can also try the side lunge!
#2 Before Running | Hamstring Stretch
This stretch would help to loosen your hamstrings and not cause cramps when you are running. Your hamstrings are the muscle where the back part of your hip to your knee is. Make sure you get seated on the ground for this stretch with one leg extended.
Tuck your other leg into your inner thigh. Lean forward and try to touch your toe. Hold it for 30 seconds.
Now, you should be able to feel the stretch at the back of your leg, not your back. Repeat with the other side until both muscles are stretched out.
#3 Before Running | Modified Single-Leg Deadlift
For balance, stand on your left leg with your left knee slightly bent and your right toes on the floor, somewhat behind your left leg.
Slowly bring your hips back and tilt forward until your torso is parallel to the floor, stabilising yourself on your right toes on the ground.
Return to your original starting position.
Rep for 30 seconds before switching legs. You can refer here for an alternative stretch.
#4 After Running | Quad Stretch
Quad stretching is a fantastic stretch because you can do it practically anywhere; you don't need much space or equipment because you can do it right where you are!
Shift your weight to your right leg while standing, bringing your left heel back and grabbing your left foot or ankle with your left hand.
Now, pull your foot gently toward your hip. Don't arch your back; keep your legs aligned and your hips tucked. Repeat on the other side.
#5 After Running | Calf Stretch
Stand with your left foot forward and both hands flat on a wall, arms fully extended, facing a wall, tree, or other comparable structure for support. Lean forward, keeping both heels on the ground and the left knee moving over the left toes.
Ensure that both of your feet are facing forward. Hold for a count of one to two, then repeat. Continue on the left leg after 20 repetitions. Your posture should look like you are pushing a truck.