The treadmill is one of the most commonly used machines to get a cardio workout in. Sometimes we can be pressed for time, so we get on the treadmill, hit the start button, and go without doing a proper warm up or post stretches. To better prepare our body, and to simply take a moment for self-care before and after a treadmill workout, Adrienne Hoekstra (MVP Athletic Club, Holland Fitness Trainer) showed me some stretches that can be done right on the treadmill.
To dynamically stretch all the muscles attached to the hip BEFORE you start on the treadmill:
Leg Swings-Side to Side: Repeat 10x each leg
- Lean into the treadmill
- Stabilizing leg is straight and heel is lifted off the ground
- Swinging leg is straight. Keep toes pointed towards the ceiling
Leg Swings- Forward/Backward: Repeat 10x each leg
- Place one hand on the treadmill and stand up straight
- Keep both legs straight
- Swing the inside leg
Stretches that can be performed AFTER a treadmill workout:
Calf stretch: Hold for 30 seconds per leg to get a deep stretch through the calf muscle.
- Both Legs are straight
- One foot completely on the treadmill
- One-foot half on the treadmill with heel hanging off
Hamstring stretch: Hold for 30 seconds per leg to get a deep stretch for the hamstring.
- Both legs straight
- One leg propped on treadmill, toes to the ceiling
- Back flat, lean towards your toes
Glute Stretch: Hold for 30 seconds per leg to get a deep stretch through the glutes. AKA, my personal favorite stretch!
- Standing on the treadmill
- Cross one leg over the other so that the ankle is resting on the thigh
- Sink the hips down until you feel a stretch
Sometimes, you don’t know how tight certain muscles are until you stretch them! So, take the few extra minutes to incorporate these five stretches into your treadmill routine next time and see how much better you feel!