One of the best ways to prevent injury is stretching before you exercise or play a sport. The right stretches make a big difference. Let’s look at some of the most important stretches to perform to minimize injury.

Top 6 Stretches for Preventing Injury

1. Lunge Stretches

There are two lunge stretches you can use to help minimize injury. First, you want to use the forward lunge stretch. Simply kneel on one knee and place the other leg at a 90-degree angle in front of you. Lean forward and feel the stretch in your thigh. Perform this stretch for 20 seconds on both sides.

Second, you want to do the side lunge stretch. This stretch starts with your feet far apart from each other. Then, bend one leg and lean towards the knee on that side. Do this on both sides and hold it for 20 seconds.

2. Calf Stretch

One of the best stretches for your lower legs before a run or a game is a good calf stretch. If you have a wall, you can place your hand on it and put one leg back while bending the other leg’s knee like you are trying to push the wall over. You should feel a stretch in your calf muscles.

Do this stretch on both sides for 20 seconds multiple times to loosen up your calves.

3. Knee to Chest Stretch

While lying on the ground or floor on your back, bring your knees to your chest and hold them. Then, rock back and forth gently. This will help to stretch out your back and other muscles.

4. Butterfly Stretch

A dynamic stretch for your chest and arms, the butterfly stretch is done by moving your arms across your chest (one above the other) and out towards the sides of your body as far as you can. You want to rotate which arm is on top, and it is a bit like hugging yourself. Do this stretch 30 or so times to loosen up your chest and shoulders.

5. Standing Quadriceps Stretch

You may need to hold a chair or a wall to do this stretch, depending on your balance. Simply kick your foot up towards your backside and hold it with your arm behind your body. Your knee will be in the bent position, and you want to push your chest forward to feel a full stretch in your quadriceps.

Perform this stretch for 20 seconds with each leg.

6. Soldier Kicks

Another good stretch to help minimize injury is called the soldier kick. Start in a standing position and put your right arm out. Now, kick your left leg as high as you can towards your right hand. Repeat on the other side and do ten reps per side.

These six stretches will help you get ready for a run or another type of athletic activity. With the correct stretches, you can help minimize injury by having your body better prepared for the activity.