How To Stretch For Walking Or Running
If you are just starting to get into an exercise routine, you may want to learn more about how to stretch for walking or running. Stretching before running or walking loosens your muscles and helps you warm up, which can prevent injury, while stretching afterwards is an important part of cooling down. It also keeps you flexible, which helps your muscles and joints work more efficiently. Follow these steps to incorporate stretching into your running or walking routine:
- Make sure you don't stretch too vigorously. If done incorrectly, stretching itself can cause injury. Use slow, gentle muscle motions. Stretch until you feel tension, but not pain. Hold each of the following stretches for ten to fifteen seconds, and repeat six to eight times on each leg.
- To stretch your hamstrings, sit with one leg straight and the other bent. Slowly lean forward at the waist.
- Stretch your thigh by bending one leg and crossing it over your straightened leg. Twist at your waist and pull the bent leg toward your chest.
- Sit with your feet together, your back straight, your head up and your elbows on the inside of your knees. Slowly push your knees toward the floor. This exercise stretches your groin.
- To stretch your quadriceps, stand up straight and bend one leg straight behind you. Slowly pull your heel toward your buttocks.
- Stretch your calves by placing your hands on the wall and placing one leg behind the other. With your back leg straight and your heel flat on the floor, lean forward while bending the front leg.
- In the same pose, slowly bend both knees. This exercise stretches your plantar fascia.