8 Dynamic Stretches for Runners

Here are 8 amazing stretches to incorporate into your pre-running routine to help prepare your muscles.

 

1. Leg Swing – Front

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Reach your left hand outward and hold onto something stable while facing forward. Looking ahead, swing your left leg forward, keeping it as straight as possible. As you bring your left leg back down, use the momentum to swing it behind your body. Continue the swinging motion for 10 reps. To switch sides, face the opposite direction and use the opposite hand to hold on.
Benefits: Helps gain flexibility in your hamstrings and hip flexors.

 

2. Leg Swing – Side

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Similar to the front and back leg swings, face something stable and hold on to it with both hands. Swing your left leg as far as you can across your body to the right, keeping it as straight as possible. As you bring your left leg back down, use the momentum to swing it outward to the left. Continue the swinging motion for 10 reps then switch sides.
Benefits: Helps open up your hips.

 

3. Lunge Exchange – Mountain Climbers

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Get into a plank position on your hands. Keeping your hands on the ground, bring the left leg forward into a lunge position. Next, simultaneously jump your right leg forward and left leg back. Repeat this alternating the pattern for 10 reps.
Benefits: Helps loosen your gluten and hip flexors while slighting raising your heart rate.

 

4. Donkey Kicks

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While on your hands and knees with your back flat, bring your left leg straight up using your hamstrings and gluten. Keep your left leg bent and your left ankle flexed as you bring it upward. Try to get your left hamstring and back in a straight line. Perform 10 reps with your left leg before switching sides.
Benefits: Helps warm up your gluten, hamstrings, and lower back.

 

5. Fire Hydrants

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While on your hands and knees, with your back flat, lift your left knee out to the side until it is perpendicular to the ground. Slowly return your leg back to the starting position without touching your knee to the ground. Immediately life your knee again to begin the next rep. Perform 10 reps with your left leg before switching sides.
Benefits: Helps warm up and activate the hip muscles.

6. Eagles

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Lie on your back with your arms out to the side. Swing one leg at a time across your body. Attempt to touch your toes to your opposite hand on each swing. Alternate legs and perform 10 reps per side.
Benefits: Helps open up your hips.

 

7. Plank Marches

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In a plank position on your hands, life one hand at a time in a slow, controlled motion and place it back down. Alternate hands and perform 10 reps per side.
Benefits: Helps warm up your core muscles and shoulders.

 

8. Plank Knee-to-Elbow Touches

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In a plank position on your hands, bring your left leg forward, attempting to touch your left knee to your left elbow. Perform 10 reps with your left leg before switching sides.
Benefits: Helps warm up your core muscles, shoulders, and hip flexors.

*Photos curtsey of active.com