Knowing how to stretch to lengthen running stride can help you prevent an injury to your legs. It is important to stretch before your train, in order to warm up your leg muscles. By using a variety of stretching exercises, you can help to lengthen running stride, since you will be more flexible. Make sure you do not overstretch, so you do not tweak a hamstring muscle.
- Use a hurdler’s stretch to lengthen running stride. Sit down on the ground, and extend one leg out in front of you with your foot facing up. Your other leg should be bent, with your knee facing forward. Slowly lean out over your extended leg, and reach for your toes. Do not bounce when you stretch, just slowly lean back and forth. You should feel the hamstring muscle in your leg tighten during the movement, as well as the thigh muscle on your other leg. Do ten stretches with each leg, and hold each stretch for three seconds.
- Touch your toes to lengthen running stride. Stand straight up, and keep your legs locked. Slowly bend over at the waist, and try to touch your toes. Your hamstrings on both legs should tighten up as you reach for your toes. Take care not to hurt your lower back during the stretching exercise. Repeat the movement at least ten times, which will help lengthen running stride.
- Squat down, and extend one leg out to your side. You should feel like you are about to sit down on a chair in this position. Turn your foot so your toes point up. Slowly reach for your toes on your extended leg. This stretch to lengthen running stride requires some coordination, so do not perform it too fast or you may lose your balance. Repeat the stretch ten times with each leg.
- Sit down with your legs extended in front of you. Spread your legs into a “V” shape. Slowly lean forward and try to touch your chest to the ground. This will stretch your lower back and hamstrings, so perform the movement slowly for ten repetitions. You can also lean over each leg separately for ten repetitions, which is another way to lengthen running stride.