Runners Specific stretching

After you have completed a warm-up jog/run and did some easy stretching as explained on the runners warm-up page you can now proceed to doing runners' specific warm-ups. These runners' specific warm-up routines are dynamic stretching workouts which support, warm, and stretch the muscles used for running (mainly the leg muscles). Stretching muscles while moving is a technique known as dynamic stretching or dynamic warm-ups, which increases power, flexibility and range of motion. Muscles in motion don’t experience an insidious inhibitory response. They instead get an excitatory message to perform. Dynamic warm-up drills and exercises are active functional exercises in which you move your limbs through their full, natural and functional range of motion. You are not forcing your range of motions outside of what is required to perform a running stride. Dynamic warm up drills help develop your speed, power and neuromuscular coordination as well as providing flexibility.

Runners Flexibility Stretching Guide

The following runners dynamic flexibility stretching drills should be followed in the order from top to bottom for best results and injury prevention.

Purpose: Dynamic stretch the glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors and calves.
 1    Standing tall both feet together. Keeping the back straight and hands on your waist.
 2    Step forward approximately 1 to 1½ meter (depending on your height). Bending the front knee slowly while lowering into lunge position.
 3   The front thigh should be parallel with the ground and the lower leg vertical. Front knee should not advance beyond toes.
 4    Veer back to the starting position. (Keep your back straight and hands on your hips)
 5   Repeat with the opposite leg. Do 10 to 16 repetitions (depending on your fitness level) on each leg.

Walking Lunge
Purpose: To stretch the glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors and calves.
 1   Similar to "Lunges", but instead of veering back to the starting position, pull the rear leg through continuing the forward motion.
 2   Step out with a long stride, striking the heel of your forward foot and extending onto the toes of your back foot.
 3   Complete the cycle by bringing your trail leg through and standing upright.
 4    Continue for 50 to 100 meters depending on your fitness level and the intensity of the following training program.

Ankle Bounce
Purpose: Dynamic stretching the glutes, quads, and hamstrings, and flexing the ankles
 1   Double leg bounce - While you lean forward place your hands on any object for balance and your weight on your toes. Bounce rapidly by raising and lowering both heels.
 2   Lifting your heels one to two inches from the ground while keeping the ball of your feet in contact with the ground.
 3   10 to 16 repetitions
 4   Single leg bounce - While you lean forward place your hands on any object for balance and your weight weight on your right foot, raise the left knee forward. at the same time push the right heel towards the ground
 5   Next, while lowering the left foot to the ground raise the right heel one or two inches up.
 6   Repeat in a bouncy, rapid fashion. Do 10 to 16 repetitions on each leg

Ankle flips
Purpose: Dynamic flexing the ankles
 1   Walking up on toes keeping the knees straight in a jogging motion.
 2   Push off through the feet while moving forward. Walk for 50 meters.
 3    Keep the arms moving to support the motion.

Walking High Knees
Purpose: Dynamic flexing the hips and shoulders, and stretch the glutes, quads, lower back and shoulders.
 1   Take an exaggerated high step, driving your knee as high as possible, and simultaneously push up on the toes of your opposite foot.
 2   Use the proper arm swing; 90° angle at the elbows, hands swing up to chin level and back beyond rear pocket.

Running Butt Kicks
Purpose: Dynamic stretching the quadriceps and hip flexors.
 1   Begin running by flexing your knee and bringing your heel back and around to your buttocks.
 2   Maintain a slight forward lean throughout the drill, staying on the balls of your feet. Complete 20 kicks within 10 yards.

Running High Knees
Purpose: Dynamic stretching the glutes, quads, low back and shoulders.
 1   Execute proper running form by keeping your elbows at 90° and driving your hands up to chin level and back to your rear pocket.
 2   Stay on the balls of your feet, driving your knees up as high as possible, and then down as quickly as possible. Complete 20 kicks within 10 yards.

After main training or Race
Always end any distance run with a cool down period that reflects the time and effort of the physical activity. A runners specific cool down should consist of a relaxed jog and walking followed by a series of static stretches.


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