Stretching that consists of functional, sport-specific movements get the body ready for activity. This includes short stretches (2-3 second holds) that involve controlled arm and leg movements that guide you gently through your range of motion. For runners participating in a 5k, 8k, 10k, or marathon, it’s important to include a dynamic warm-up.

Dynamic warm-ups increase core temperature, muscle temperature, elongate muscles, stimulate the nervous system and help reduce risk for injury. This type of stretching is best done before activities. In contrast, static stretching helps to cool down after activity.

Do the following exercises over a distance of 20 yards. After each exercise, jog back to the starting line and begin the next exercise. This should take about 10 minutes.

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Knee Pull

Grab the knee of one leg. Pull your knee up toward your chest. Drop leg back down to ground. Take a step and switch legs.

Ankle Pull

Grab your ankle with one hand and pull it backward. Do not allow yourself to extend your back.


Glute Pull

Grab the ankle and knee of one leg. Pull your ankle and knee toward your chest.


March and Reach

Step and balance on one leg while lifting the knee of the other leg. Bring your knee up high enough so that your thigh is parallel to the ground. Engage your core and squeeze the glute of the stance leg. Next, lean forward reaching down toward the foot of your stance leg with your opposite arm.


Lunge and Reach

Get into the marching position. From the march position, lunge forward. Reach the opposite arm up toward the ceiling while engaging your core and contracting the glute muscle of the trailing limb.


Lunge and Twist

Get into the marching position and then lunge. In the lunge position, spread your arms wide and rotate your trunk toward your leading leg while avoiding rotation at the pelvis.


Sumo Lunge

Turn toward the wall and perform a lunge from one side to the other. Sit back into the position and do not allow your knee to travel beyond your toe. Take a skip step and repeat.


Leg Swing

Forward facing, keep your leg straight and swing it forward. Reach toward your toe with the opposite arm. Take a few steps and switch legs.


Carioca

Facing the wall, step behind your leading leg with the trailing leg. Take a side step with your leading leg to get back into starting position. Step in front of your lead leg while driving the knee up toward your chest. Step with your lead leg to the starting position. Return to the start line and repeat facing the other direction.


Skip

Drive your knee up into the march position. As your knee is rising, hop and land on your stance foot. Return to start position and repeat with the other leg. Hops should be small and legs should be moving quickly.


Butt Kick to High Knee

While jogging with a short stride, bring the heels of your feet toward your glutes. As you reach the halfway mark, transition to jogging while bringing your knees above your waist. Steps should be short and quick.


In Skip, Out Skip

Perform a standard skip bringing your knee in front of you. Return to starting position and, with the same leg, skip while bringing your knee out to the side.


Power Skip

Perform a skip with a powerful upward jump.


Shuffle Turn Shuffle

Facing the wall. Perform a quick shuffle. As you approach halfway, quickly turn around and continue shuffling.