The lower body stretches that will leave your legs and glutes feeling ooey gooey


Photo: Well+Good Video



Welcome to Trainer of the Month Club, our brand-new fitness series, where we tap the coolest, most in-the-know fitness leaders to create a month-long fitness challenge. On Mondays, we have our “sweat drops” where you’ll get access to the week’s workout that you can follow along at home. This week,  Nike Master Trainer and run coach Traci Copeland is taking us through a running workout warm-up routine.

When it comes to running workouts, it can be tempting to just get up and go—especially when it’s 55-degrees, sunny outside, and all you want to do is pound some pavement while the latest Lizzo blasts in your AirPods. But as Nike Master Trainer and run coach (and all around motivating human being) Traci Copeland shows us in this week’s Trainer of the Month Club and United States of Running workout, your running warmup is actually just as important—if not more!—as the miles you’re logging.

In addition to being one of the best forms of cardio you can do, running is also a pretty intense workout for your lower body, which is why it’s important to get your glutes, quads, and hamstrings prepped and ready before you hit the road. (BTW: Have you heard that we’re training for a 5K and a 10K race?) Loosening up ahead of time can not only help you go longer and faster, but it can also help you avoid some of that second-day soreness after a particularly grueling trot.

Here, Copeland shares 10 moves, which you’ll do for 30 seconds each to get you good and ready to pound some pavement. Follow along in the video above, and check back next week for a whole new workout that will help you take your running routine to the next level.

Alternating knee hugs: Standing up straight and tall, grab your left knee with both arms and pull it into your chest. Be sure to stay light on your feet, and don’t lean forward or backwards. Repeat on your right. Alternate each side for 30 seconds.

Alternating hamstring stretch: Standing straight up, extend your right leg out in front of you with your toe pointing up. Lean forward (without rounding your spine) and scoop your arms toward the ground. Come back to stand, and do a quick four-step jog in place. Repeat on your left. Alternate each side for 30 seconds.

Alternating quad stretch: Bend your left foot up to your glute and catch your left ankle in your right hand, pointing your knee down and bringing your left hand up toward the sky. Come back to center and do a quick jog in place, then repeat on your right. Alternate each side for 30 seconds.

Alternating inner thigh stretch: In a straddle position, move to your left side and press your hands into your thigh, keeping your weight in your heels, then repeat on your right. To make the stretch even deeper, touch your opposite hand to the ground. Alternate each side for 30 seconds.

Alternating lunge reach: Take your left leg forward and reach your right arm up to the ceiling. Come to center and do a quick jog, then repeat on the right. Alternate sides for 30 seconds.

Alternating tin soldiers (left): Standing up straight, kick your left leg forward and reach for your toe with your right hand. Repeat on the left (no alternating) for 30 seconds.

Alternating tin soldiers (right): Standing up straight, kick your right leg forward and reach for your toe with your left hand. Repeat on the right (no alternating) for 30 seconds.

Glute activation: Balancing on your right leg, kick your left leg straight back behind you, then return to center—keeping your hips square the entire time. Repeat for 15 seconds, then do the same movement for another 15 seconds on the right.

Walking march: March slowly in place, raising your alternate arm and leg slowly, keeping your eyes forward. As you get comfortable, you can add a hop, being sure to stay light on your feet. Alternate sides for 30 seconds.

High knees: Standing tall, drive your knees toward your chest at a rapid pace, with your opposite hands going cheek to cheek. Keep your body straight and eyes forward. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Butt kicks: Standing tall, alternate legs to kick your butt at a rapid pace. Make sure your heels graze your glutes with each rep, and keep your knees facing down. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Interested in upping your running game? Check out our couch-to-5K and couch-to-10K plans (created by Copeland!), which will have you race ready in less than five weeks.

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