According to our coach, John Henwood, the benefits of stretching are many: it will help with muscle soreness, increase your athletic performance and recovery, and will help prevent injury.
Before you run
Dynamic Stretches (Hold each stretch for one second and let it go. Repeat each stretch 5-6 times.)
Straight Arm Rotations
Standing, rotate both arms around the shoulder joint: forward for 10 seconds and then backwards for 10 seconds.
Knee to Chest
Standing, grab the knee and pull it straight up, towards your chest. Hug it briefly and let it go. Once you’re finished, change legs. This will stretch your glutes and hamstrings.
Standing, cross your feet and then bend down from the waist with straight legs. Do this five times with your right leg in front and then re-cross your legs and stretch five times with your left leg in front.
Piriformic (Glutes) Stretch
Standing, grab your heel and knee and pull your leg up, towards your torso. Repeat on the other side.
Standing, rotate in the ankle, so that your heels are together, then your toes are together. This is great for the inner and outer hamstring.
Standing, grab your foot and pull it back to your glute for half a second, then let it go. Alternate on the other side.
Standing, shift to the left, hold for a second and then shift to the right.
After you run
Static Stretches (Hold each stretch for 20 seconds.)
Standing Hamstring Stretch
Put one leg on a stool or bench that’s just below hip height. Bend from your lower back and reach forward, keeping the outstretched leg straight. Your standing leg can be slightly bent. There’s no need to reach your toes, if you’re too tight—reaching to the shin is fine. Once you’ve finished, switch legs.
Standing, grab your foot and pull it up behind you. Change legs.
Standing and pushing against a wall, step one leg back and keep it straight with your heel on the ground. Bend the front leg, allowing the weight to go through your back leg. Alternate legs.
In an extension from the long calf stretch, put all your body weight over the bent front leg. Make sure your knee is over your second biggest toe. Alternate legs.
Starting on all fours, slide your right knee forward toward your right hand. Slide your left leg back as far as your hips will allow, keeping your hips squared to the floor. Hold and then switch legs.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Put one knee on the ground in a kneeling position, while the other foot is extended straight behind you. Press your pelvis forward.
Lying face-down, press your palms into the floor beneath your shoulders. Engaging the abs, push your upper body off the floor, arms straight, while keeping your hips, legs and feet planted. Hold for several breaths and then slowly lower.
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As with any new exercise program, we recommend that you consult with your doctor prior to starting this training regimen.