If doing a pre-run quick yoga stretch isn’t for you or you just want to do something a little more traditional, here are some basic stretches I do before heading out. Hit all of these 30 seconds on each side.
Standing Quad- with our without support, stand on one leg and bend the other leg up and grab that ankle with hand on same side. Keep your body upright (no leaning to the side or forward) and keep knees close together, letting this knee splay out won’t get you as good of a stretch.
Standing Calf- with one leg about 2-3 feet behind the other keep back knee straight and front knee bent and lean toward a wall or other support surface. Try to get back heel as close to the ground as you can.
*For more stretch, bend the back knee as well and lean forward, bending the knee until you feel the back of you lower leg stretch. This will stretch the “soleus” part of your gastroc-soleus (calf) muscle.
Standing Hamstring- stand with feet flat and knees straight and bend from your hips toward the ground as far as you can like you are trying to put hands flat on the ground.
IT band- stand next to a wall, with all weight of body on leg closest to the wall and other leg crossed behind, lean toward the wall until you feel a stretch either in the standing hip or knee. If you aren’t feeling a stretch, move a little further from the wall so that you can sink further into the stretch.
Seated Hamstring- With one leg out in front and other bent in toward your body, bend your body through the hips and try to reach your feet attempting to put head on knee.
Laying Piriformis (butt) Stretch- laying on your back, with left leg straight in front of you, pull right knee across body like you are trying to bring it to the left shoulder. Keep hips on the ground.
*If you don’t want to lie down, you can do this stretch in standing, crossing one ankle across the opposing knee and squatting down. I find that lying gets a better stretch, but this works too.
Don’t take a stretch into pain, only go so that you feel the stretch. These stretches hit the major muscle groups to get your ready for a good run!