Warm Up, Massage and
Stretching Exercises For Runners

These warm up and stretching exercises for runners focus on the lower back, hips, legs and feet.

Exercises to warm up, stretch and strengthen other body areas are included too, as balance is a key concept in traditional Chinese exercise systems.

For example, a back of leg stretch is followed by a front of leg stretch, a forward bend is followed by a backward bend, and a left torso twist is followed by a right torso twist.

Breathing exercises are also included for their numerous benefits to not just runners, but all sports people. Regular practice of these exercises, not only before sports but as part of your daily life, leads to:

  • Toned, flexible muscles
  • A strong, flexible spine & joints
  • Enhanced blood circulation
  • More energy
  • Greater relaxation & focus
  • More balanced, fluid movement

While all these warm up, massage and stretching exercises for runners are safe, you should check with your health professional before trying any new exercises or techniques.

Back Exercises

Back Twist: Limbers and aligns your vertebrae; warms up and loosens your back muscles, hips and waist; enhances blood flow; stimulates digestion.
Back Arch: Limbers, stretches & strengthens your entire spine and its supporting muscles.
Forward Backward Bend: Stretches & strengthens your back, legs AND abs. Circulates blood to your head and face.
Lumbar Rub: Warms & limbers your lower back and sacral area; stimulates local blood flow; great for a stiff, aching, lower back.

Hip Exercises

Hip Swivel: Limbers & loosens your hips & lower back.
Back Twist: Same benefits as per Back Exercises, above.

Leg Exercises

Hamstring & Calf Stretches: Stretch & limber the backs of your legs; stimulate vital energy meridians from your spine to your feet.
Front & Outer Thighs: Stretches & strengthens the front & outer part of your thighs; balances the effects of the hamstring & calf stretches, above; also strengthens your lower back, knees, ankles & pelvis.
Inner Thighs: Stretches & strengthens your inner thighs & knees; firms your butt; balances the effects of the hamstring & calf stretches, above.
Knees: Limbers & strengthens your knees and ankles.

Ankle & Feet Exercises

Ankle Stretch & Roll: Stretches & strengthens your ankles & surrounding tissues; enhances local blood flow; stimulates important energy channels in your legs and feet.
Foot Massage: As all major body areas & parts are represented on the soles of your feet, a foot massage before and/or after running is highly therapeutic.

Breathing Exercises

Abdominal Breathing: Slow, deep abdominal breathing before & after running enhances oxygen intake & carbon dioxide expellation; stimulates digestion, energizes and relaxes you.

Note: The above warm up, massage and stretching exercises for runners can equally be applied to most sports and activities, regardless of whether or not they involve running. Try them all and use those that best match your particular activity or sport.

Back to top of this page: Stretching Exercises For Runners