Helping to keep muscles relaxed and flexible

Stretching is a classic staple of physical exercise that helps us prevent injury. For first time runners, our bodies might not be used to the movements we are going to need to run well. Being flexible and loose helps our muscles and joints (like our ankles, knees and hips) move strongly through a full range of motion and lessens our likelihood of getting hurt.

The following stretching routine can be done after your warm up, after your drills, or both!

Do each stretch for 30 seconds. If the stretch involves one leg at a time, do each leg for 30 seconds.

HamstringWith one foot on the ground, put the heal of your other leg on a stair or a ledge and lean towards that foot. You should feel a slight stretch on the back of your leg.
QuadsWith one foot on the ground, grab your other ankle with your hand and pull it back towards your bum. You should feel a slight stretch in your thigh.
Find a stair or a curb and put your heel on the ground and your mid-foot on the edge of the stair or curb. With a straight leg, lean slightly forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your lower leg.
GlutesSitting on a chair or on the ground, Put one leg at a 90 degree angle and rest the side of the opposite ankle on that knee. Lean slightly forward until you feel a stretch in your glutes.
HipsFacing forward, take a step forward so that your feet are about 2-3 feet apart. Slightly bend your front knee and lean slightly backward until you feel a stretch at the top of your thigh.
GroinSit on the ground and do the butterfly stretch. Bring the heels of your shoes together and gently push your knees to the ground until you feel a stretch in your groin.
IT BandStanding up, cross one leg over the other and bend down towards the ground. You should feel this stretch on the outside of your leg and down towards the outside of your knee.

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