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Stretches For New Runners

It is important to include some stretching exercises before your running routine. If done correctly, stretches can help to improve your flexibility and joint range of motion, and can decrease your risk of injury to joints, muscles, and tendons while running. In this article, we will show you top 5 stretches to do before a run.

Disclaimer: Note that stretching is not warming-up. It is a common misconception that warming-up equates to stretching. ‘Warming-up’ literally means raising your core body temperature. It is advised that before you begin on your stretches and run, a general warm-up such as brisk walking between five to ten minutes be performed to prevent injury to your ‘cold’ muscles. (see To stretch or not to stretch before an event?

Top 5 stretches:

Hamstrings Stretch

  • Start off with your body close to your thigh and your knee about 90 degree
  • Straighten the knee gently while keeping your body close to your thigh
  • Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 3-5 repetitions

 

Calf Stretch

 Upper Calf stretch
  • Place hands on front thigh, with one leg to rear
  • Keep the rear leg straight and foot flat with toes pointing forwards
  • Bend the front leg and feel the stretch through the rear leg
  • Hold the stretch for 15 seconds and repeat 3-5 repetitions.
Lower Calf Stretch
  • Place hands on front thigh, putting your weight on your rear leg
  • Keep the rear foot flat with toes pointing forwards
  • Bend rear knee forward over rear foot and feel for the stretch over the lower calf
  • Hold the stretch for 15seconds and repeat 3-5 repetitions

 

Quadriceps Stretch

  • In standing, bend your knee and take your heel towards your bottom, keeping your back straight until you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh
  • To further stretch the front of your thigh, extend your thigh and bring your heel closer towards your bottom
  • Feel for the stretch at the front of your thigh
  • Hold the stretch for 15seconds and repeat 3-5 repetitions
     

Iliotibial Band (ITB) Stretch

  • To stretch the IT band of your right leg, stand with your right leg crossed behind your left.
  • Put your weight on the right leg and lean your body towards the left. You should be able to feel the stretch in your hip and down the IT band along the right side of your right thigh
  • Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 3-5 repetitions

 

Glueteus (Buttock) Stretch

  • Sitting on the floor with one leg straight out, bend the other knee and place the foot over the straight leg
  • Using your hands, gently bring the bent knee up towards the opposite shoulder. Feel for the stretch in the buttock
  • Hold the stretch for 15 seconds and repeat 3-5 repetitions.

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