It is a no-brainer that continuous running for several hours can be daunting. It is a high-intensity workout which keeps the body fit and promotes healthy living. But it is best to prepare your body with some stretches for effective results of running.
Well, you don't have put in a lot of equipment in the stretches, all it takes is dedication and efforts. Even if you only run a few metres, it is important to stretch before and after running. Dynamic stretches can loosen up the joints and warm up the muscles.
Do these stretches before you run:
Benefits: A squat is the foundation of all lower-body exercises that help improve blood circulation and determine how well you run, walk, jump or lunge.
How to: Stand with your hip-width apart. Keeping your weight in the heels, flex your knees and hips. Now sit back with your hips. Continue doing down as much as you can (depending on your strength), quickly reverse the motion and return to the initial position. Keep your head and chest up while squatting.
Also read: Running Tips For Beginners
Benefits: Strengthens the core and hamstrings. It also opens up hip flexors.
How to: Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and keep your hands in front of your chest. Keep your torso upright, step backwards with your left foot and lower your body. Your left knee should be bent at 90-degree angle and point toward the floor with your left heel lifted. Return back to standing by pressing your right heel into the floor and bringing your left leg forward to complete one rep.
Benefits: Helps develop the lower-leg strength to improve your running form, functional strength and efficiency.
How to: Stand with your hip-width apart. Pull one knee up toward your chest, putting the weight on the other side, then quickly place your foot back down. Now repeat on your other side. Continue alternating.
Benefits: Improves blood circulation. Strengthens the core and activates the legs.
How to: Stand straight with your feet together and raise your arms overhead while jumping on your feet on either side. Make an inverted V shape with your legs with every jump. Land on your gently to avoid any injuries.
Also read: Yoga Jumping Jacks
Benefits: It helps lengthen your quads and targets the hamstrings.
How to: Stand with your legs shoulder- width apart, kick your right heel up toward your glutes while flexing the right knee. Now, bring the right foot back down. Quickly switch your feet so the left heel comes up toward your butt. Swing your arms as if you were jogging. Repeat.
Benefits: It opens up the hip while activating the glutes, hamstrings and quads.
How to: Stand with your feet and knees together while holding a pair of dumbbells. Take a large step with your right foot to the right side and lunge toward the floor. Make sure your right knee does extend your toes and keep your left leg straight. Push off through your right foot to return back to the initial position.
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