running

Warm Up Stretches For Athletes

Health & Fitness

You should warm up by doing dynamic stretches, which are like your workout but at a lower intensity. A good warm-up before a run could be a brisk walk, walking lunges, leg swings, high steps, etc.

Simple Back Stretch

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees bent slightly.
  • Lean forward, placing your hands just above your knees.
  • Round your back so that your chest is closed and your shoulders are curved forward.
  • Then arch your back so that your chest opens and your shoulders roll back.
  • Repeat several times.

Rotational Hip Opener

  • From a high plank position, step your left foot forward to the outside of both hands to come into a low lunge. Gently lower your right knee to the floor.
  • Lift both hands overhead and shift hips forward to feel a stretch along the front of your right leg.
  • Return hips to neutral position and open arms into a T-shape as you rotate your chest open to the left.
  • Shift hips forward and bring arms overhead to repeat. Continue to repeat on the left side for 60 seconds.

Low Lunge With Twist

  • From a high plank position, step your left foot forward to the outside of both hands to come into a low lunge.
  • Shift weight to your right hand, and place your left hand gently behind your head.
  • Lift left elbow toward the ceiling as you open your chest toward left leg.
  • Rotate, bringing left elbow down toward the floor, then slowly open again.
  • Continue to repeat on the same side for 60 seconds.

Hamstring Stretch

  • From a high plank position, step your left foot forward to the outside of both hands and come into a low lunge. Gently lower your right knee to the floor and un-tuck your right toes.
  • Rock back on right knee to come into a kneeling position (so your right knee is bent to 90 degrees), and allow left leg to straighten with a flexed foot.
  • Engage your core and hinge at the hip to lean forward with a flat back. Your hands can rest on the ground for stability, or you can walk them to touch your left toes if flexibility allows. Keeping a flat back is key—you can stretch more with a rounded back, but it’s not as effective at stretching your hamstrings.
  • Rock forward on your left foot to release the stretch and return to a low lunge position.
  • Continue to repeat the stretch on the left leg only for 60 seconds.

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