I love to stretch! This is one piece of the 'running' puzzle that you must try to do to become the best runner that you can be.
Dynamic stretching needs to be done before you run and static (still) stretching after you run. The benefits of doing these simple conditioning exercises include…
- Quicker recovery
- Less likely hood of injury
- Improved performance- who wouldn't want that ladies?!
Dynamic Stretches are performed before a medium or short run to prep the body for the sport it is about to do. It includes big over sized movements of the actions that are required of you. Dynamic stretching increases range of movement, blood and oxygen flow to soft tissues prior to exertion. Dynamic stretching can improve performance and reducing the risk of injury.
1. Toy Solider
- March your legs straight out in front as in a mini kick, opposite arm to leg to stretch the hamstrings, glutes and calfs 2 x 10
2. Hacky Sack
- Bend your knee and bring your heel to your hand as if you were playing keep up with a hacky sack ball, this opens out your hips. 2 x 10
3. Heel to bum (using arms)
- Lift your heel to your bottom loosening the quads and use your arms with vigorously in a running style to warm the arms up. You can make this into a jumping movement to increase the heart rate. 2 x10
4. Walking lunges
- Take an over sized step forward so you knee bends to apron 50-90 degrees making sure your bent knee is above the ankle and the knee follows your second toe x10
- Swing one leg out to the side and cross it in front of you body warming up the hips, glutes and inner thighs. 2 x 6
Static Stretching helps keep you flexible and counteracts the repetitive movements of exercise. When performed correctly and at the right time (post run), static stretches help you lengthen tight muscles and improve your balance and overall fitness. A good stretch session also helps relieve stress and tension. To perform a static stretch properly, you should get far enough into the stretch that you feel a slight pull but no pain (6-7/10 effort wise) and hold for at least 30 seconds. It helps to exhale as you get into a stretch. When you're holding a stretch, breath normally and avoid the tendency to hold your breath. Repeat each static stretch two to four times. Always stretch areas that feel tight as they need more stretching then the areas that don't!
1. Quad/hip flex
- Pull your foot up to your bottom to get a stretch into the thigh muscle, keep your knees together and your hips forwards.
2. Hamstring and calf
- Put one leg out in front of you and lift your toes up to the ceiling. Bend the other leg and put your hands on that leg to take the weight off the straight leg, lift your tail bone up so you can feel a stretch in your hamstring and calf.
3. Solus and chest
- Place feet hip width apart, slide one foot behind you about 30cm - so your heel is in line with your back toe. Bend both knees so you feel a stretch in the back calf, lean the weight forward and plant your heel to the ground. Place your hands on your butt and squeeze you elbows together to get a stretch into the chest.
- Place the outside of your right ankle above the left knee while the right knee drops out and the hip opens. Sit your butt behind you as if you're sitting on a chair - you should feel your butt stretching- if not sit back further and lift the tail bone. Repeat on the other side.
5. Inner thigh and Lats
- Take a huge step to the side, turn your right foot out and left facing forwards, bend your right knee so it is directly over the right ankle so you are stretching the left inner thigh. Put your right arm on the right bent leg and reach over with the left arm up and over to stretch the left side of your body. Repeat the other side.
- Elle Phillips, Sports Therapist, Adv Dip ST DipPTST PTTLS