Dynamic Exercises and Isolated Stretches Pre/Post Running

October 1, 2017

Dynamic exercises are great to not only stretch and awaken your muscles before a workout, but also get your blood pumping!

The first exercise I like to do before running are lunges with a twist. This exercise activates your leg muscles as well as your obliques.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Take one step forward with your right leg, bend both knees towards the ground and twist your torso to the right.
  • Stand up and repeat on the left side.

Next, I like to call this exercise the “inch worm” into “seal pose.” This pose stretches the hamstrings and calves, activates your arm muscles and stretches the abdominal muscles. This movement is great for preventing stomach cramps.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend over, touch your toes, and slowly walk your hands out until you are in a plank position.
  • On your stomach, prop yourself up with your elbows below your shoulders, reaching your head towards the ceiling and belly towards the ground.
  • Stretch your neck looking to the left and right to ease tension

The third warm up is a deep squat. This opens up the hips and activates your quads and glutes (all essential muscles for exercise.)

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your knees and hips towards the ground go as low as you can!
  • Return upright and repeat.

Finally, I get my heart rate up with some jump squats!

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Do a regular squat and JUMP as you come up.
  • When you land, return to a squat position and repeat.

The most important time to stretch is after you exercise so that your muscles are warm. I like to perform active isolated stretching using a rope. With active isolated stretching you are slowly increasing the stretch of the muscle while also releasing it back to its resting position. This will ultimately train the muscle to become more flexible.

I start with the hamstring rope stretch.

  • Begin on your back with one knee bent with your foot flat on the floor, wrapping the rope around your opposite foot and extending your leg straight.
  • Lift your leg as far as you can towards the ceiling and return to the ground, keeping your knee locked the entire time.
  • Switch and do the other leg- repeat each leg a few times.

I finish with using the rope to pull my quad up getting deep into the psoas.

  • Begin on the ground lying face down with the rope wrapped around one foot.
  • Gently pull your heel towards your glute, using the rope as assistance.
  • Contract your glute and lift your thigh off the ground, hold and lower.
  • Repeat each leg a few times.

Lindsay Ritchings, coach of the Running Club at the Field House at Chelsea Piers.

Watch Lindsay in action here.

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