Runners who love to run want two important things: to have a great jog, and to stay safe and injury-free. One of the nice things about areas like Parker is the access to trails and parks. From the long Cherry Creek Trail to the Sulphur Gulch trail, there are safe places you can find to run. The other half of those running desires is achievable, too. Preventing most injuries can be as simple as doing dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretches before running are one of the best ways to warm up and prepare the body to run so you’re less likely to develop many common injuries. Everyone has a different idea about which exercises are the most helpful, however.
Anyone who has been running for even a little while knows how important your warm-up and stretches are. They are what prepares your body for activities by loosening muscles, improving range of motion, boosting your heart rate, and increasing your muscle temperature. Here are just a few of the best dynamic stretches for runners that could benefit you when you next hit the trail:
- Walking Lunges – Take a long step forward and lower your back knee so it almost touches the ground. Keep your back straight, then rise up and step forward with the other foot.
- Leg Swings – Hold on to something solid and carefully swing your leg back and forth at the hip.
- Hip Circles – Stand with your feet apart. Rotate your hips ten times in a clockwise circle, then repeat counterclockwise.
- Glute Kicks – Walk around while kicking your feet so your heels come as close to tapping the back of your gluteus muscles as you can make them.
- Calf Raises – Stand on a step with your heels hanging off the edge. Rise up on your toes, then slowly lower your heels to flat. Rise up again and repeat.