• Why? To maintain or improve joint flexibility.
  • How? Hold stretches at a point where you can feel tension or a ‘stretch' on the muscle but don't push so far as to cause pain. Hold stretches for 30 seconds.
  • Prerequisites: 5+ minutes light aerobic activity to warm up muscles - for example walking, very slow jogging, walking up and down stairs.

Stretching the first glute muscleGlute 1

  • The glute muscle is located at the rear of the bum.
  • Standing on one foot pull opposite knee into chest.
  • Keep back straight and chin up.

This could also be done lying on your back if you find balancing challenging.

Stretching the second glute muscleGlute 2

  • A second glute muscle is located at the side of the bum.
  • Place right foot on left knee, hands behind to support with back straight.
  • Bring left knee and right foot in towards body to feel stretch at the right side of glute muscles.
  • Repeat for opposite side.

Stretching the hamstringsHamstring

  • Hamstring muscles extend from below the bum to the back of the knee.
  • Place one foot on a chair or low bench, keep leg straight and reach down to touch toes with fingers.
  • Avoid curving spine by keeping shoulders back, back straight and chin up.

Stretching the groin muscles


  • Groin muscles extend down the inside of the leg to the knee.
  • Adopt a wide stance with both feet pointing forwards.
  • Lean to one side by ‘sitting' into supporting leg and feel stretch on the inside of non-supporting leg.
  • Put hands out if you need to in order to maintain balance.



Stretching the Calf MusclesCalves

  • Calf muscles extend from the back of the knee to the back of the ankle.
  • Lying on back hold a towel or stretching rope around foot and pull in.
  • Keep leg straight.
  • Bend other leg up to help keep back flat on floor.

Stretching the quadricepsQuads

  • The Quadriceps extend from the from the hips, down the front of the leg to the knee cap.
  • Pull foot up behind close to bum to feel stretch on quad muscles.
  • Ensure you use right hand for right leg and left hand for left leg so as to avoid twisting of the knee.
  • Keep back straight and chin up.
  • If needed place hand on a wall or training partner to support.



  • Why? To improve the function of the body in athletic performance
  • How? Slow steady movements with all exercises


What develops mobility?


  • Place foot in a box of rice.
  • Contract muscles of the foot to ‘grab rice'.
  • This can also be done using sand or grass.
  • Here you are trying to improve the foot's feel by opening and closing the toes on something tactile.

Ball roll massage
Ball roll massage

  • Place a hard ball under foot (hockey ball, golf ball, tennis ball, marble etc.)
  • Massage the whole foot.
  • Spend 30 seconds on each of the forefoot, midfoot and heal.

Ankle Mobs

Ankle mobs

  • Place foot on a low step or preferably a ramp.
  • Rock knee over toes and back in a slow steady motion.
  • Use supporting leg to support your weight.



Hip mobility exercisesHip mobility

  • Start on all fours, hold core muscles in.
  • Lift one knee and internally rotate for 6 repetitions left and right.
  • Externally rotate for 6 repetitions left and right.



Start off walking at a brisk pace in Vibrams or barefoot for an initial period of 15 minutes three times per week in week 1 and 20 minutes three times per week in week 2. Walking may be done on the same day as the stretching/ mobility but it does not have to. However, it is suggested that you use the walks as a warm up for the stretching routine.

Step 2

Having spent 2 weeks learing the Stretching and Mobility exercises you can now move on to Transitioning to Barefoot Running Step 2

** Medical Disclaimer **

Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This training programme is intended as a guide to the transition from shod running to barefoot running. For a comprehensive, individualised programme please contact DCU Sport High Performance Centre. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider. Mild soreness after exercise may be experienced after beginning any new exercise regime. Contact your physician or physio/ athletic therapist if the soreness does not improve after 2-3 days.

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