It’s sound sports science that stretching regularly can help you age more gracefully, keep your movements free and even help to prevent injury while your exercise, but when and how you stretch can have an impact on its effectiveness. Recent studies suggest that static stretching right before a run, with a lot of held, stable poses, may actually decrease your efficiency as runner by sending your muscles signals to relax right before demanding high performance from them. To increase your running economy, replace a static stretch routine with dynamic stretches that utilize a series of repetitive movements to get your muscles warmed up and limber without loosening them up too much.
A good running stretch routine begins with getting the hamstrings warmed up first. To perform the knee cradle, stand on one leg and draw the other leg up with the knee pointed up and outward. Cradle your leg with both hands at the knee and ankle, but avoid pulling on your foot. Rise to your toes on your standing leg before releasing your lifted leg, stepping forward and working the other side. Repeat for 50 meters.
Take small, quick steps as you bring your knees as high towards your chest as possible. With each step, drive your opposite arm forward with each knee. Repeat for 50 meters, taking as many small steps as you can.
Straight Leg March
Stretch your calves and ankles with the straight leg march. Swing your leg as high as you can with each step, and try to touch the toes of your ascending foot with the opposite hand.
Stretch your thigh muscles and calves by bringing your heel all the way back to your butt with every step. Like the high knees exercise, focus on the frequency of your steps and do as many as you can within 50 meters.
This stretch warms up your core muscles and opens up your hip joints. Raise your arms above your head and take a large step forward with your right foot, bringing your left knee down to touch the ground and making sure you foot is ahead of your knee. Come back up and bring your feet together and your arms down to your sides before working the other side.
Reverse Warrior Lunge With a Twist
Like the Warrior Lunge, this stretch activates your core muscles and can help mobilize your lower back. Raise your arms above your head and with your right foot, take a large step backwards. Twist your torso to the left as you go down into the lunge position and reach for your right heel with your left hand. Return to standing and do the other side.
Activate your hips with this exercise. Begin by stepping with your right leg across your left leg while still keep your shoulders square and pointed in one direction. Step forward with one leg across the other.
Start by lying face down on the ground. Lift your right leg and draw it backwards across your left, stretching your lower back. Repeat the stretch on each side 10 times.
Proper stretching is a vital aspect of any workout routine. If you still notice tension in your muscles and joints, consider Don Mills Physiomobility and message therapy to help relax muscles and prevent injury. It’s important to listen to your body and adjust your workout routine when necessary to stay injury-free.