General Question

Monshin's avatar

What stretches should I do before running?

Asked by Monshin (13points) August 8th, 2008

I’m going to start running again after a long hiatus. I’m not looking to train for a marathon—just get in shape. What stretches should I do, or are there any books I could consult?

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7 Answers

lefteh's avatar

Stretching my quads has always been very important to me. You can do this by holding your foot behind your back, like this. You should also do toe touches (it’s alright if you can’t actually touch your toes…go straight down as far as possible), butterflies, hamstring stretches, calf stretches, glut stretches, and some basic arm stretching.

Randy's avatar

I’d say that nails it.

gooch's avatar

You should strech your entire body not just legs. Besides the fact that streching reduce injury streches are good just to do as a form of exercise.

ht1979's avatar

The only thing missing up above would be stretching your IT (iliotibial) band. You can find tons of different stretches for it online by searching. If it gets too tight, you’ll often have pain in your knee and/or your hip as it runs between the two.

lefteh's avatar

@ht: Good catch. Definitely important.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

A couple other things to keep in mind:
Don’t forget to warm up before you stretch. Otherwise you can hurt yourself before you even get started!

One of the most common injuries when you’re getting started after a long time or for the first time is shin splints. Stretching your calves is the most important stretch to help avoid this. The one lefteh linked is great!

And here’s a nice little compact guide to stretching for runners.

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