07 Apr Some Facts About Stretching Exercises Targeting Runners
I realize that there is a debate going on whether stretching exercises for runners are helpful or not? The answer all depends on a runnerâ€™s personal shape and physical capabilities. In a word, itâ€™s a very personal thing and the correct stretches vary from runner to runner.
Some individuals stretch before running, others after. Still more choose to stretch before and after. Myself, I would recommend that you do a dynamic warm-up before running so your muscles are more flexible.
Benefits of Stretching Exercises Prior to Starting your Run
Ok people, you’re asking why should I add an extra 10 minutes to my workout? Stretching exercises prior to running comes with plenty of returns. Here are just a few of them:
- An Increase in stride length thanks to the lengthening of your muscles.
- Stretching can help to prevent the build-up of lactic acid in muscles.
- Give you Increased muscle flexibility, which will help with balance in achieving accurate running form.
- Muscles are stretched out and relaxed, which helps to avoid over-working your joints and avoid subsequent injuries.
Before starting, remember these three important rules:
- Please never stretch tight or cold muscles as this may cause a tears or strains.
- Stretching exercises should be carefully controlled movements with coordinated breathing.
- Try not to stretch too far, too fast because you can injure yourself.
Remember if you would rather perform your stretching exercises after your workout, take time out to cool down first. Your muscles are already warmed up to a high degree. Post-workout stretching is best performed about 10-15 minutes following your run.
Three Stretching Exercises Targeting Runners
Iâ€™m not sure where I should start? Here are three stretching exercises you can try at your gym or outdoors:
- Hamstring Stretch: This stretch is best performed with a Resistance Band, this is perhaps the most commonly performed of all stretching exercises runners perform! Lie flat on your back and raise one leg up in the air. The knee of your other leg should be bent with the foot flat on the floor. Pop the resistance band over the arch of the foot thatâ€™s raised and pull gently on it as you push against it with your foot.
- Heel and Butt Stretch: This stretch is so easy to perform and is great for your quadriceps! Find a wall and put one hand flat on it for balance. The heel of the opposite leg is lifted to the butt and held in place by your other hand.
- Bridge Stretch: This stretch is great for your lower back and quads! The starting position for this exercise is flat on your back with both knees bent. Raise and lower your hips. The butt should come right off the floor and your torso should form a straight line from shoulders to hips when raised.
Remember; easy does it please! Gentle, controlled movement is vital when it comes to all your stretching exercises, and also remember to keep up with your regular Massage Therapy Treatments!