Hip Flexor Stretch: Lay on your back. Hold one knee close to your chest, while allowing the other leg to lay flat.   

Now you are set to start your treadmill workout. Dynamic stretching increases blood flow to the muscles and increases flexibility pre-exercise, which can help prevent injury long-term. To further prevent injury during exercise, ensure you are using proper form! Never be afraid to ask for clarification or instruction from gym staff members.

Stretching post-workout, as previously mentioned, can decrease that annoying muscle soreness that occurs up to two days after a workout session. These stretches are great post-treadmill walk or run. For each stretch, hold for 20-30 seconds and do each leg 1-2 times.

Ways to Stretch Your Body Before and After a Treadmill Workout

Leg Swings: Stand tall. Swing the one leg back. Keeping that momentum, swing the leg forward bending at the knee. The swing should translate into a high knee with a bit of a hop. Variation on leg swings: Swing the leg back. Keeping that momentum, swing the leg forward. When the leg is extended, engage the core and try to touch the extended foot with the opposite hand. Alternate sides. Make sure to not hunch the back.

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Lunge and Twist: Bring the right leg forward into a lunge. Staying in the lunge position and without the lower body moving, rotate the upper body to the right side. Return to start position. Repeat on left side.

Arm Circles: Simple. Extend your arms to the side and proceed to move them through the full range of motion in large circular motions. Do the arm circles for clockwise direction and counter-clockwise direction.​


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Hamstring Stretch: Standing, prop one leg up on a stair or stool. If need be, again, support yourself using a wall or chair. Extend the arm/arms towards the propped up leg. You should feel a stretch down the back of the thigh.

There is a lot of debate on whether or not to stretch before or after a workout such as a treadmill walking or running. The recommendation: do both. It is best to start a workout with dynamic stretching. It allows the body and muscles to warm up before any moderate to intense activity by actively moving the body and joints through full range of motion. Counteracting that, stretching after a workout can reduce muscle soreness that you may experience the days following an exercise session.

 

So without further ado, before hopping on that treadmill prep your body and give these dynamic stretches a try. Make sure to do approximately ten repetitions for each stretch (and each side if it is for the extremities).  

Squats: Start with the legs wide, just over hip width apart. Engage the core. Squat down as if you were to sit in a chair. Do not allow the knees to track over the big toes and stick that butt out! When rising up from the squat, push through the heels.

 

Quad Stretch: Stand tall. Hold onto a chair, wall, or table for balance if need be. Keep the thighs parallel, without jutting the knee forward, bend the leg back at the knee. Use your other non-supporting hand to hold the ankle of the leg you are stretching. You should feel a gentle stretch in the front of the thigh. 

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Reach Up to the Sky: Another simple stretch. Reach your arms out to your side and bring them up as high as they will go. Bring your hands to the center and reach your hands down to the ground.