The 10 Best Stretches to Do Before Running

  1. From seated, fold your right knee in front of you on the floor so your knee is pointing out to the right slightly and the outside of your thigh and shin are on the floor.
  2. Extend your left leg behind you, keeping your leg straight and the top of your thigh, shin and foot on the ground.
  3. Add a torso twist by bringing your right hand up behind your right ear, and then twisting to your left so your elbow comes across your body.
  4. Repeat five to eight times on each side.

5. Hip Circle

Woman doing Hip Circles before her run

Your hips bear a lot of force while you’re running, so opening up the joints and muscles of that area before hitting the pavement can help prevent injury. A few minutes of hip circles is an easy way to do this.

  1. Stand with your hands on your hips and your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Circle your hips in one direction, almost as if you’re hula-hooping. Make the circles wider and wider until you’re working your full range of motion.
  3. To deepen the stretch, on the last round, pause briefly at the front, back, left and right points in the circle.
  4. Repeat for six to 10 rotations in one direction, and then switch directions.

6. Around-the-World Lunge

Woman doing Around-the-World Lunges before her run

Warm up and stretch all the major muscles of your legs with┬áthis lunge variation┬áthat gets you to move in all direction. “I like to work every plane of motion,” Schultz says. “This helps to keep the hips as open as possible.”

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