Personal trainer Melanie Baker has competed in everything from a 5K to a marathon and knows a thing or two about warming up for a run. She shares the go-to series of movements she personally uses to prepare her body, no matter the distance.
1. Lateral Lunge
From a standing, athletic stance, take a large step to one side laterally, sitting the hips back. Make sure you don’t allow the knee to go past the toes on the bent leg while the other leg is extended straight. Repeat 10 times on each side.
2. Hip Flexor Stretch
Start in a lunge position with your front knee bent at 90 degrees. Begin to straighten your back leg so you feel a stretch along the front of your back thigh. Keep your front knee aligned over your toes. Raise your arms over your head and hold for a few seconds, then release. Continue in a dynamic motion, straightening the back leg as you raise your arms up, and then lower your arms as you return to the starting position.
3. Stork Pose
Standing on one leg, raise your arms overhead and tilt the body forward to be parallel to the ground, extending the other leg behind you. Make sure there is a slight bend in the planted leg. Be mindful to feel this in the hamstring. Engage the core for balance and return to a standing position. Repeat 10 times on one side, then switch to the other side.
4. Quad Stretch
Hold on to a handrail for balance (or challenge balance and don’t). Pull one foot to the glutes, pointing the knee straight down toward the ground while the other leg is planted with a slight bend in the knee. Be sure to keep your torso upright over the hips. Hold for one minute and switch sides.
5. Calf Stretch
Hold on to a handrail next to a wall. With one leg straight and one bent, put your toes of the bent leg against the wall and sit back into the heels, letting the weight of your glutes and upper body go toward the ground. Hold for one minute and switch sides.