When you're first getting started running there's a lot of stretches that you can do to warmup, but here's a few of my favorite stretches that target your big ticket body parts to loosen up. Life takes a pounding on the body, even if you're not super active. So take some extra time before you run and loosen those tight body parts up so you can enjoy your run without pain.
These bad boys are often super tight in the general population from sitting far too much. Therefore we want to loosen these up before we run or exercise in order to allow are hip to fully extend and not pull badly on our lower backs.
These ones are pretty common ones to hit, hence the term, "don't pull a hammy." None the less these are excellent stretches to do as well, to increase your range of motion in the hamstrings, which will be one of your powerful thigh muscles that will help propel you forward while running.
Now the piriformis is a nasty little muscle receding right in the little dimple spot inbetween your glutes and upper leg musculature, that tends to become very tight from again sitting around far too much or working the hip musculature hard when training.
These muscles tend to lie either ontop of the sciatic nerve or even in-between it, so when it gets tight it can constrict that nerve and cause numbness and tingling down the leg. On top of that it also can inhibit several other muscles from doing their jobs correctly, which can cause lower back strain and pain. Best to loosen that guy up too!
The calves are often tight and restricted which makes a horrible combination when you're going to use these muscle as springs when you run. Loosening them up is a must if you're going to be running, plus having those ankles and calves mobilized will increase your run performance and decrease the amount of anterior leg pain that you get from running.
Alright, now that you're all loosened up, get out there and get to it. There's a whole world that you can explore with your own two legs.
Jesse “Captain Smash” Howland is the owner of SMASH’s Strength Lab, which offers targeted personal training to reach a variety of fitness and physique goals. A natural bodybuilder, competitive powerlifter, certified personal trainer, and nutrition coach, Jesse is often the go-to resource for personal training Ottawa. He studied Exercise Science at Oregon State University and even trained at the world famous Gold’s Gym. He’s a former US Army Captain with the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, a former blog writer at Veterans Fitness Career College, and former Chief Executive Officer at U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). His workouts and personal training are army-inspired to help reach your weightloss, athletic, or physique goals.