Hitting the pavement — or the treadmill deck —
Without warming up your body can lead to injury. One way to warm up is with a trio of slow, gentle stretches that prime major leg muscles for the work you’re about to give them.Increasing the blood flow to your muscles before you stretch them is another vital step in preventing injury. Walk or jog slowly, either moving forward or in place, for at least five minutes before you embark on your stretching routine. Once your blood is pumping and your muscles are heated, move on to the stretches. Stretches work best when you breathe deeply and slowly, hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and keep the muscles relaxed.
You can stretch your hamstrings while standing or lying on your back. To stretch them while standing, keep your left leg firmly on the floor and prop your right leg out in front of you at a 45-degree angle supported on a bench. Keep your back straight and gently bend slightly forward with your hands on your right thigh. For the lying stretch, lie on your back with your right leg extended and left knee bent and its foot on the ground. Wrap a towel or strap around your right foot, holding one strap end in each hand, and gently lift the strap and your leg. Switch legs and repeat for either stretch.
You have two options for stretching your calves, again either standing or on the ground. Stand and stretch by placing your left foot firmly on the ground and your right foot slightly forward with the foot flexed and heel on the ground. Sit to stretch your calves with both legs extended and a towel or strap wrapped around your right foot. Flex your right foot and gently lift the towel with one hand holding each end of it. Switch legs and repeat for either stretch.
Quad stretching also has two options. For the standing option, plant your left foot firmly on the ground and bend your right knee back, with your foot behind you reaching toward your butt. Grab your right foot in your hand and gently stretch your foot as close to your butt as possible, feeling the pull on your quadriceps. The lying-down version uses the same movements, but instead of standing, you lie on your side. Lie on your left side with your left leg extended down and your left arm extended above you head on the ground. Bend your right knee and pull your right foot behind you toward your buttocks. Switch legs and repeat.
Now your legs are warm up enough for your brisk walk either on ground or on treadmill.
Hi Fitness Instructor