As with any exercise, warming up the leg muscles is a great way to prevent injury. This can be done a number of ways:
- To loosen up the quads, stand near a stationary object and bring one heel to the glute, hold your leg in this position for 10-15 seconds (Use the stationary object to maintain balance if need be). You should feel quad stretching. Release your leg and repeat for the other side.
- Sitting on the ground with your legs in front of you with your legs forming a 90 degree angle, take your right hand and try to grab your left foot. If you cannot reach the entire way, grab onto your shin and hold. You will also feel this stretch in your lower back. Repeat for the opposite side.
- Sitting on the ground, with both legs straight in front, bring one knee to your chest but place that legs foot on the far side of the leg still in front of you. While keeping the foot of the leg you have pressed against your chest on the ground, squeeze your leg like you are giving it a hug. You should feel the glutes stretching on the leg against your chest. Hold for 10-15 seconds then repeat for the opposite side.
- Stand near a wall or next to a stationary object. With your heel on the ground, put the front of your foot against the wall or object. Slowly lean in the heel pushing the knee forward. You should feel the calf muscles stretching out. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat for the opposite side.