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Exercises for Running

New to Running? – here is what you need to know about warm up and cool down exercises for running.

If you are new to running it is important to build in the habit of warm up and cool down exercises – which are as important as the running itself. Please stop if any exercises are painful.

Exercise for running – Warm up (before the run)

Warming up your muscles before exercise help to prevent injury and make your workouts more effective. An effective warm up should take 6 minutes but can be longer if you prefer.

Marching on the spot (3 minutes)

Start marching on the spot, then move forwards and backwards, pumping arms up and run in sync with legs (elbows bent).

Heel digs (60 in 60 seconds)

Place alternate heels to the front keeping toe up, Slight bend in supporting knee.

Knee lifts (30 in 30 seconds)

Bring alternate knee to touch the opposite hand.

Shoulder rolls (2 sets of 10 repetitions)

March on spot and roll shoulders forward  5 times and backwards 5 times. Keep arms loose.

Knee bends (10 repetitions)

Feet shoulder width apart and hands stretched out. Lower down by 10cm by bending knees only.

Exercise for running – Cool Down (after the run)

It is as important to stretch after a run to allow you to cool down gradually and improve flexibility. As you do your stretches you should breathe deeply and regularly and only do them gently.

Hip Flexor stretch (hold for 15 seconds)

Keep back and back leg straight, bend front leg and feel stretch across hip. Repeat on other leg.

Thigh stretch (hold for 15 seconds)

Grab top of left foot and gently pull heel towards your left buttock, keeping knees together. Repeat on other leg.

Hamstring stretch (hold for 15 seconds)

Stand with right leg in front and hands on your hips. Keep right leg straight, toes pointing up and bend left leg. Repeat on other leg.

Calf stretch (hold for 15 seconds)

Bring right leg forward, bend and keep back straight. Push left heel into ground. Repeat on other leg.

Lower back stretch (hold for 15 seconds)

Lie on your back. Pull right knee into your chest. Repeat on other leg. Repeat with both legs pulled into chest.

Buttock stretch (hold for 15 seconds)

Lie on your back and with both legs bent with feet on the floor. Cross tight leg over left thigh. Hold back of left thigh and pull left leg towards your chest. Repeat on other leg.

I addition to your running plan it would also be beneficial to start strength training too. The NHS has a range of videos at NHS live well exercises.

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