Phoenix Mercury strength & conditioning Coach Ben Hadley offers three tips and three stretching exercises to do before running.
A lot of people don’t realize how important it is to stretch prior to running. So I am going to give you three tips on how to stretch before you run. First thing is, make sure you stretch the muscles that you are going to be working – the quadriceps, the hamstrings, the gluts, the calves.
Second tip; hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds. Third tip, don’t bounce. If you are doing a static stretch make sure you hold the stretch in place for that 10 to 15 seconds.
Next we are going to demonstrate some stretches that you can do prior to running. Our first stretch is going to be the wide leg hamstring stretch. Candice is going to reach one side at a time and she is just holding the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds without bouncing, slight discomfort, not pain. The she is going to reach it over to the other side after she has held that for 15 seconds, and then finally she is going to reach down the center.
The next stretch that we are going to demonstrate is the quadriceps stretch. So Candice is going to lay on her left side. She is going to grab her right ankle behind the back. She is going to push the hips forward and pull the knee to the rear, foot straight up. Also, she wants to try to keep this knee down here as well.
And the third stretch is going to be the glut and low back stretch. Candice is going to lay on her back. She is going to bring one knee into the chest. She is going to pull that knee towards her chest keeping this knee on the ground and she is going to hold that for 10 to 15 seconds.
Once she has held that for 10 to 15 seconds she is going to go ahead and lower that leg slowly, bring the next knee to her chest again, holding this knee to the ground. And then finally she is going to bring both knees to her chest to get the low back. These are three stretches that you can do prior to running.
About Ben Hadley:
Strength and conditioning coach Ben Hadley is in his fourth season with the Mercury administering strength and performance training as well as preventative therapy. Hadley joined the Mercury with a wealth of experience in strength training including the owner of Sgt. Hadley’s Fitness Boot Camp. Prior to joining the Mercury he spent four years with the Marine Corps as a physical fitness trainer and martial arts instructor. He has also spent four years as an exercise and wellness student at Arizona State University.