Bodybuilding.com Information Motivation Supplementation
in:
Obi Obadike
obadike1

Ask The Ripped Dude

Prevent Injury with these
5 Great Pre-Cardio Stretches

Ask The Ripped Dude: Pre-Cardio Stretches

I've published more than 100 fitness articles and became the Bodybuilding.com 2012 Male Writer of the Year. My goal is to help you get in the best shape possible!
Q

my name is Craig. I'm 6-foot-4, and almost every muscle group in my body is tight. Consequently, my cardio has suffered because I've been struggling with shin splints and other running- and football-related injuries. Can you help me out?

Hey Craig, I'll do my best to help you out. Shin splints and other leg injuries like strains are common among fitness enthusiasts and former athletes. You may have learned how to deal with these injuries, but who wants to be sidelined when you could be training? Prevention is the best medicine.

One of the best ways to prevent injuries, aches, and pains is to do a proper warm up and stretching routine before you do any form of cardio. Even if you're just walking, it's a good idea to make sure your muscles are properly prepared for the work ahead.

I suggest 3-5 minutes of slow jogging before stretching. Your muscles should be warm before you try stretching them. If they're cold, you won't get a full and proper stretch.

Pre-Cardio Stretches

Before you run, walk, climb stairs, or perform sprints, you should do these 5 stretches. They'll help prepare your hamstrings, calves, shins, and groin for training and minimize your chance of injury.

STRETCH 1 Standing Toe Touch

To stretch your hamstrings, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and reach down as far as you can. Grab your ankles, toes, or even touch the ground, if you can. Hold the stretch for about 15 seconds and make sure you don't bounce. Do 3 or 4 repetitions.

STRETCH 2 Lying Knee to Chest

This is a great hamstring and glute stretch. To do it, lie on your back with your legs extended and feet close together. Bring your right knee to your chest and pull it into your body with both hands. Hold for 15 seconds and switch legs. Stretch each leg 3 or 4 times.

STRETCH 3 Butterfly Stretch

Don't ignore your groin. A great way to stretch it is to sit on the ground with your knees out and the soles of your feet together. Sit upright and place your hands on the top of your feet. Engage your core and slowly bend forward with your hips. For a bigger stretch, place your hands or elbows on your knees and push them downward. Hold this position for about 15 seconds and try to avoid rounding your back. Do this for 3 to 4 repetitions.

STRETCH 4 Standing Soleus and Achilles Stretch

An Achilles tendon tear is all too common for people over 35. That's why it's important that you take the time to stretch that area before you run or play a sport. To do this stretch, place one foot slightly behind the other. Keeping your heels on the floor, bend both legs until you feel a stretch in the lower part of your back leg. Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds and switch legs. Do 3 or 4 repetitions on each leg.

STRETCH 5 Shin Stretch

Shin splints are annoying and painful. Stretching the anterior tibialis (shin muscle) goes a long way toward avoiding this scourge. Sit on a chair or couch and extend one leg. Point your toes forward and down as far as they can go. Hold for a 15-20 seconds. Slowly bring your toes up toward your body and hold for another 15 or 20 seconds. Alternate legs. Stretch each leg for 3 or 4 reps.

Transform Your Body



Related Articles

About The Author

Known as ''The World Most Ripped Fitness Model,'' he's very passionate about educating people all over the world about health and fitness.

RATE THIS ARTICLE
POOR
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
EXCELLENT
OVERALL RATING
N/A

Out of 10

0 Ratings

6

Comments

Showing 1 - 6 of 6 Comments

(5 characters minimum)

      • notify me when users reply to my comment
Molinski44

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Molinski44

Ligament injuries in the knee - not fun. I'd also like to add that when doing sprints, to acoid that immediate stop at the end. This can put a ton of stress on the ACL and LCL and if not warmed up properly can cause some damage.

May 31, 2013 3:44am | report
 
fredzz1003

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
fredzz1003

am gona try this tomorrow :)

May 31, 2013 9:55am | report
 
mcguinn33

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
mcguinn33

I'd argue that the foam roller exercises/stretches will be just as good if not better than these static stretches.

May 31, 2013 2:09pm | report
 
iamrashod

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
iamrashod

I'm very non-flexible. I've decided to add yoga into my routine to give me that flexibility and allow me to have better gains from my workouts.

Jun 2, 2013 8:48pm | report
 
djuanp1000

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
djuanp1000

Thanks for the tip... I am also 6 foot 4 and have that same problem (shin splints) I will definitely take that into consideration

Jun 6, 2013 4:56am | report
 
richardheritage

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
richardheritage

i suffer from painful shins so number 5 sounds great hopefully will help

Jul 6, 2013 1:16pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 6 of 6 Comments

Featured Product

Give Us Feedback:
Report A Problem
Site Feedback
Follow Us:
Twitter
Facebook
RSS Feeds
Bodybuilding.com Newsletter

Receive exciting features,
news & special offers from Bodybuilding.com