Stretching is one of the best ways to warm up and cool down after physical activity. Whether you’re a runner, a boxer, or just going to the gym, stretching helps keep your muscles loose and ready for the work you’re going to put them through. There’s a ton of research that’s been done on the best stretches for certain activities – here are the best stretches for runners. 

High Knees

High knees help you warm up your glutes, hip flexors, and hamstrings. On top of that, the jogging motion is a good cardio warmup for your run. 

To perform this stretch, jog lightly in place for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, lifting your knees up to your waist level on each step.

Butt Kicks 

Butt kicks are also great for your hip flexors and hamstrings, while also working on your quads. 

For this one, jog in place or move forward while kicking your heels up to your butt on each step. Start slowly and gently to warm the muscles in your hamstrings. Most people do 10 to 12 reps on each side. 


While it might feel a bit silly, skipping is a fantastic way to warm up your whole body, especially your shoulders, glutes, and calves. 

Skipping for a warmup is exactly the same as skipping when you were a kid, but with a bit more power behind it. Propel your body upward and forward, swinging your arms to warm them up as you go. Choose a point roughly 15 yards from your starting point to skip to and back.

Leg Swings

This stretch engages your core and lower back, as well as your glutes, hamstrings, and calves. 

Find something to hold on to for balance as you swing one leg forward and back, keeping it as straight as you can. Try to keep your torso vertical while you move to engage your core. Do 10 reps with one leg, then repeat with the other.