The 10 Best Stretches to Do Before Running

  1. Start in a lunge with your front knee at 90 degrees.
  2. Begin to straighten your back leg, so you feel a stretch along the front of your back thigh. Keep your front knee aligned over your toes.
  3. Raise your arms over your head and hold for a few seconds, and then release.
  4. Continue in a dynamic motion, shifting forward as you raise your arms up, and then lowering your arms as you come back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat five times on each side.

3. Side Stretch

Woman doing Side Stretches before running

Side stitches are a common complaint among runners, but fitness expert Stew Smith, CSCS, says you can help prevent them by doing this torso stretch before running. You can perform this from a standing position (pictured above), or as Schultz recommends, you can add a side stretch to the hip flexor stretch from the previous stretch.

  1. Bring your arms over your head.
  2. Keeping your abdominals tight, lean to the right, bending at the waist.
  3. Hold for a few seconds, and then lean to the left.
  4. Do this movement dynamically, holding for one or two breaths on each side before switching.

4. Dynamic Pigeon Pose

Woman doing Dynamic Pigeon Pose before her run

Schultz recommends doing this variation of yoga’s classic Pigeon pose to stretch the glutes and the iliotibial (IT) band that runs along the outer thigh.

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