Best Stretches Before Your Treadmill Workout


Whether you use the treadmill at the gym, or if you’ve bought a treadmill for your home, it is imperative that you stretch before your workout. Stretching properly can reduce injury and give you better flexibility, range of motion, posture, and coordination. Paige Jones, ACSM CES, an exercise physiologist at Piedmont Atlanta Fitness Center has recommended doing the following stretches before your treadmill workout.

Calf Stretch

  1. Stand against a wall and press your right toes against it
  2. Keep your right heel planted firmly on the ground
  3. Gently push forward with your left leg
  4. Hold this stretch for 30 to 45 seconds
    • This stretch should feel slightly uncomfortable but not painful
  5. Switch feet.

Hamstring Stretch

  1. Start with feet shoulder width apart
  2. Extend your left leg, with your toes pointed upward and your heel on the ground
  3. Sit your hips back
  4. Slowly reach your left hand down to your left foot
  5. Keep your left leg straight throughout the stretch
  6. Hold this stretch for 30-45 seconds
  7. Switch feet

Hip Flexor Stretch

  1. Place your left knee on the ground
  2. Keep your right knee at a 90-degree angle, parallel to the ground
  3. Straighten your spine and notice the stretch of your hip flexor
    • For an even better stretch, slightly lean forward

Piriformis Stretch

  1. Sit down and place your left ankle on top of your right knee
    1. This should make your left leg parallel to the ground
  2. Sit up tall
  3. Lean forward as far as you comfortably can
  4. Hold this stretch for 30-45 seconds
  5. Relax and switch legs

I.T. Band Stretch

  1. Start with your feet shoulder width apart
  2. Take a step back with your left leg
    1. placing it a step behind your right foot
  3. Keep your spine as tall as possible and put your right hand on your right hip
  4. Reach your left hand as high as you can into the air
  5. Bend to the right by pushing your hips to the left
  6. Continue to reach over with your left hand
  7. Hold this stretch for 30-45 seconds
    • You will feel this stretch through your arm all the way down to your hip
  8. Switch Feet

When doing these stretches be sure that you are doing them properly. Stretching should never hurt, so be sure and stop if you ever feel pain. Do not bounce while doing any of stretching before your treadmill workout, as this can lead to a muscle tear or overextension.

Should You Stretch “Cold” Muscles

Technically, your muscles are never cold, since humans are mammals and naturally warm-blooded. However, exercise redirects blood flow to the area where your muscles are engaged, which “warms up” your muscles.

Without this redirected blood flow, some fitness experts say that you can injure yourself, particularly when you do static stretches like the treadmill stretches listed above. On the other hand, other exercise gurus swear by static stretches before treadmill workouts, saying the stretches help loosen tight muscles that many runners struggle with when exercising.

Here at, we tend to always advise that people take the time to stretch before a treadmill workout. However, not everyone feels the same need to stretch. Some people always stretch before and after our treadmill workouts, other people only do dynamic stretches, and some individuals don’t bother with any stretching at all. What is really important is to listen to your body and make accommodations which suit your needs. If you need 5 minutes for some IT band stretches, then take the time to loosen up before you hop on your treadmill.

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