Stretching is an important part of any running or fitness programme as it keeps you flexible and helps prevent injury. Stretching before running and jogging decreases the possibilities of pulling or straining muscles. Always stretch after warming up.
Examples of stretches: Repeat each stretch two or three times:
1. Wall Pushup #1
Stand about three feet from a wall, feet at shoulder width and flat on the ground. Put your hands on the wall with your arms straight for support. Lean your hips forward and bend your knees slightly to stretch your calves.
2. Wall Pushup #2
From the previous position, bend forward to lower your body to waist height. Bring one foot forward with your knee slightly bent. Lift the toes of the front foot to stretch the muscle under the calf. Stretch both legs.
3. Back Scratch
Grab your elbow with the opposite hand and gently push the elbow up and across your body until your hand reaches down to “scratch” your back. Gently push on your elbow to guide your hand down your back as far as it will comfortably go, stretching your triceps and shoulders. Stretch both arms.
4. Quadriceps Stretch
Kneel on your knees (without resting back on your heels). Lean back with your body erect and your arms to the side. Hold for 15 seconds.
5. Heel To Buttock
Stand on one foot, with one hand on a wall for balance. Hold the other foot with the opposite hand and raise the heel of the lifted foot to the buttocks (or as close as comfortably possible), stretching your quadriceps. Keep your body upright throughout. Change legs and repeat.
Stand upright, slightly bend left knee and lift right foot with right leg extended infront, then bend from the hips to touch toes on right foot. Hold for 10 seconds, then change legs and repeat.