If I could choose my career all over again I would be a physical therapist/trainer for runners. My experience with just about every injury under the sun is about the only thing that qualifies me to speak on the subject of best stretches for runners. A while ago I wrote a post on the importance of foam rolling, if you have not read that hop on over and check it out.
I’m the kind of person that used to never stretch or foam roll, I was also a very injury prone person. I hate stretching or really anything that requires me to try and relax. Stretching can hurt more than 50 jump squats. I’m totally serious, it hurts that bad, but it is a necessary evil. If you contract your muscles, working them hard pounding the pavement they will not be able to reach full potential if not properly cared for. You muscles connect ligaments and bones together. If those muscles are tight your ligaments and joints are being pulled and strained in ways they are not meant to be causing pain and potential injury.
Maintaining a healthy stretch routine is just as important as actually running. Here are three key stretched that are crucial for runners. Spend 6 minutes a day doing these and you will see improvement in your stride and mobility.
1)Hamstring and calve stretch- One leg straight the other bend. The higher you raise your toe the better calve stretch you will get.
2) Hip Flexor Quad Stretch- Tilt your pelvic bones forward tucking in your butt to gain maximum stretch. You should feel this stretch down the front of your leg and in your hip socket. This stretch will help relieve many knee pain issues.
3) Hamstring and inner thigh stretch- Keep your foot on the bent leg flat on the ground, only go as far down as you can keep your heel down. Point your toe to the sky. Try not to lose balance!
I took these pictures outside yesterday before our football game. It was soooo cold. I played with 5 layers on. I am having a hard time being ok workout out in the cold this winter. Usually I’m ok with it.
What are your favorite stretches? What do you do you amp yourself up to get moving outside when its freezing(literally!)?