Dynamic stretching is done by performing brief, repetitive movements through one’s full range of motion. It’s a great way to prepare for activity and reduce the risk of injury. Perform each movement in an alternating fashion for 12 total repetitions (6 each side). Remember, each repetition should be brief and last no longer than 1-2 seconds.
Lift one knee with both arms towards your chest as you simultaneously extend your hips to stretch the glutes and hip flexors.
Reach back with one hand and grab the same-side foot. Make sure to grab the top of the foot and not the ankle. Pull to stretch the quadriceps and tibialis anterior (shin) muscle.
Extend both arms out in front of your body. Keep both legs straight as you swing each towards your hands to stretch the hamstrings. Maintain an upright torso and keep the arms parallel with the ground.
Most tracks are 400 meters (4 laps = 1 mile). However, there are many different sized tracks. Look for a posting that states how many laps equal 1 mile so that you are aware of the distance travelled. This workout is intended to be performed more than once, as your goal is to move farther in the same amount of time than previously.
Perform the following routine in order. Each exercise lasts 30-45 seconds depending on your fitness level, so you’ll need a watch or smart phone to keep your time. Apps like Nike+ can also track your distance. Repeat the routine 1-3 times, twice a week.
- Side Shuffles
- Forward Lunges
- Walk (Active Rest)
From standing, bend over and reach towards the ground. Walk your hands forward to the plank position with hands and feet on the ground with hips neutral so that your back forms a straight line. Then walk your feet in toward your hands and stand up before the next repetition.
Alternating forward lunges
Take a larger-than-normal step forward with one leg. Keep your balance as you gently lower the back knee towards the ground. In this position, your legs should each form close to two 90-degree angles. Press the front heel into the ground to extend that knee and exit out of the lunge, bringing the back foot forward for the next repetition. Alternate each leg.
From standing, bend over and bring each hand to the ground. Hop back with both feet to the plank position. Perform 1 pushup. Then, hop in with both feet and finish with a jump forward for the next repetition. For a less intense variation, step in and out of the plank position and skip the pushup.
Safety Tip: Avoid running outdoors mid-day or when it’s humid to avoid heat exhaustion.
Unlike dynamic stretching, static stretching is done by holding a position. This will improve flexibility and recovery after a workout. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds on both sides.
Seated Hamstring Stretch
Sit with one leg straight and the other foot tucked inside the thigh of the straight leg. Reach with both hands towards the toes of the straight leg to stretch the hamstrings. Pull the toes of the straight leg towards you to stretch the calf muscles as well.
Seated Glute Stretch
Sit with one knee bent over the other leg. Wrap the knee with both arms and pull towards your chest to stretch the glutes.
— Frankie R., Lipscomb University