3 stretches to include in your warm up before running...

This month at PSS it is 'choose your distance, raise money & run'. 

We all know  about the importance of warming up before running (well any physical exercise). Personally I am awful at warming up or cooling down properly, I just want to get on with it and maximise the time that I have. This puts me at a much higher risk of getting injured.

I thought I'm probably not alone on this one, so I have researched some stretches to do before you start running, these target specific muscles that will be used and will put you at a lower risk of injury and could even potentially make running a better experience. Hopefully this will inspire you to do a proper warm up, or if you already do some fresh ideas about what to include.

1. Walking lunges 

How to: Start with your feet together, take a long step forward bend your front leg to a 90 degree angle with your back knee almost touching the floor. Hold this for a few seconds, then push up with your back leg until both legs are straight, repeat on the other side moving forward, continue this for about 10 lunges. 

2. Side Stretch 

I'm sure we have all experienced stitch before, this stretch will help to avoid getting it. 

How to: Stand with your feet a shoulder widths apart, put your arms above your head, keep your abdominal tight and simply lean to the side bending at your waist and hold for a few seconds. Keep alternating sides and repeat about 10 times.

3. Calf Raises 

How to: Stand on a step facing in, with the balls of your feet on the edge of the step and your heels hanging over. Lift your heels up (like you are on your tip toes) then slowly lower them down until your heels are slightly below the edge of the step and you can feel the stretch in the back of your calves. Hold for a few seconds and repeat around 10 times. 

So there you have it, a few easy and simple stretches to include in your warm up routine.