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We’ve heard the phrase “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” In the case of stretching before running it makes perfect sense. If you don’t use (stretching exercises) you’ll lose (making “strides” in your run). Look at what you do to maximize your running technique by doing a pre and post stretching routine. Cold running is never a good thing, and I don’t mean cold like the temperature outside. I’m talking about not allowing your muscles to warm up.

We’re turning to the fitness minds over at Runner’s World for a quick guide to six exercises you need to do before running. This is great for beginners because a lot of times we’ll take what we learned as kids or what we’ve seen before and do it. By using previous workout experiences as a base line of “how to stretch” is NOT necessarily a good thing but on the bright side the building blocks are there. You need to throw out what you’ve learned and look at what your goals are and take the right steps to getting there. If you want to run a marathon you start one mile at a time. Stretching and conditioning is key.

1.) Calf stretch = Better flexibility in your calves and Achilles tendons will allow you to push off more forcefully and lower your risk of straining these muscles or tendons.
2.) Hamstring stretch = because of tight hamstrings, many runners overuse their quads, the muscles along the front of their legs, to more lift themselves up and down instead of flow along smoothly.
3.) Squats = Strong hips and butt muscles that can move fluidly through a wide range of motion play a big part in having good running form.
4.) Double-Leg Pelvic Tilt = more than 70% of American adults have lower-back pain at some point. For runners, imbalances and tightness in the lower back can tilt the pelvis and pull on the glutes and upper hamstrings, setting off a cascade of dysfunction that can lead to injury anywhere from hip to foot.
5.) Planks = Planks increase your ability to maintain a tall, relaxed posture when running.
6.) Dips = Many runners, however, hunch forward in the upper back and shoulders. Dips keep your back strong and your breathing in check.

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