Stretching For Runners

Stretching for a marathon, or any workout for that matter, is crucial to the success and overall health of your body! Body Gears has some simple tips to make sure you are performing better and to help you prevent injury (or further injury-Marathon Runners- you know!). Stretching both BEFORE & AFTER a run will help you perform at your best.

BEFORE a run or race, perform “dynamic stretches;” stretches that take a joint or muscle through a repetitive motion, increasing a body parts Range of Motion (ROM) further with each repetition. This will prepare the joints for movement and the muscles for prime activation!

AFTER a run or race, perform “static stretches;” stretches that hold a position for a joint or muscle. This hold (30-60 seconds) will increase flexibility in the muscle tissue and, consequently, range of motion in your joints. Be warned; done prior to activity can inhibit the muscles ability to activate! So remember, static stretches are done after your run to prevent injury.

Here are some easy stretches to get you starting – and finishing – that race right!


Hip Circles (Dynamic) Stand with hands on your hips and your feet hip-width apart. Begin making small circles in one direction, progressively making the circles wider and wider for ten rotations. Repeat in the other direction.

Leg Swings (Dynamic) With one hand, hold onto a stable object as you swing your right leg forward and backward into your full range of motion. Perform for ten repetitions and switch legs.

Walking Lunges (Dynamic) Begin with feet shoulder-width apart, take a big step forward with your right foot and bend your knee until it reaches 90 degrees and the back knee almost touches the floor. Stay in that position for two seconds then resume standing position, step forward with your left foot and repeat.


Standing Calf Stretches (Static) Start by facing a wall and planting the top of your right foot against the wall with your heel touching the floor. Next, lean into the wall until you feel a light stretch in your calf. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the opposite leg.

Standing Quad Stretch (Static) In standing, grab your right foot with your right hand and pull toward your backside. Try to keep your body upright and in a neutral position. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.

IT Band Stretch (Static) Stand with your left leg crossed in front of your right leg and place your left hand on your left hip. Next, with your right hand reach overhead toward the left side of your body. You should feel a light stretch on your right side. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.

Click here for resources and information for a variety of workouts including running, weight lighting, kickboxing and more. Join the Body Gears conversation via Facebook and Twitter.


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