Any runner's most ignored part is stretching. It is a crucial part of training because it can help you avoid injury. What good is it to run for hours only to be side-lined by an avoidable injury that keeps you from training for a few weeks? Sticking to stretching practice is beneficial.
Running is a high-intensity sport that puts a lot of strain on your body, particularly your lower limbs and joints. This stress can wreak havoc on your lower body's flexibility and mobility, limiting your performance and increasing your risk of injury.
7 Best stretches
Running can certainly offer you slim, toned, and gorgeous legs, but it's not enough if you want to stay pain- and injury-free over the long haul.
That's why you'll need to stretch on a frequent basis. It will reduce the stress caused by running.
Without much further ado, below are 7 best stretches for every runner out there:
Standing Single Leg Hamstring Stretch
Injury to the hamstrings is common, especially among runners. Pulling muscles and lower back pain can be caused by tight hamstrings.
Below are the steps to do the standing single leg hamstring stretch:
· Stand with your feet hip-distance apart.
· Slightly bend your right knee and stretch your left leg in front of you, pointing your toes up.
· Lower your upper body to your knee and reach your hands as far as you can toward your left foot's toes while holding this position.
· Hold this stance for 30 seconds before switching sides.
Watch this video:
The Runner’s Calf Stretch
The calves are the most overworked muscles in runners' bodies, and stiff calves can lead to strains, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis.
To do the runner’s calf stretch, follow the steps below:
· Stand facing a wall.
· Then, with your arms outstretched and your back straight, rest both arms on the wall.
· Step backward with your right leg, keeping your heel on the ground and leg extended without bending your knee.
· To stretch your calf, lean against a wall and actively press your back heel into the ground until you feel a good stretch in the muscle.
· Deeply inhale and hold for 30 seconds or longer before switching sides.
Here's a video to help you out:
The hips are the weakest link for most runners. Ignoring them can lead to problems like runner's knee, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, lower back pain, and more. The pigeon pose focuses on the hip flexors as well as the lower back.
Follow the underlying steps to do the pigeon pose:
· Kneel with your feet flat on the floor and your arms behind you for support.
· Keep your feet flexed as you cross your right ankle over your left knee.
· To increase the stretch, bring your left foot closer to your hip.
Repeat with the other side.
You can watch this video:
Running requires ankle mobility because these small joints can easily strain or sprain. Heel lifts assist in strengthening your ankles.
· Try to stand as straight as possible.
· Without locking your knees, raise your heels off.
· Hold for 10 seconds.
· Lower your heels to the ground.
Rep three times.
Learn more about the process with this video:
Low lunges are beneficial to your hip flexor muscles, which aid in leg raising while running. Follow the steps listed below:
· Lie down in a lunge position.
· Maintain a straight upper torso with your toes pointed forward and your back leg straight behind you.
· Extend your hips forward and softly press down on your front leg until you feel a stretch.
· Hold for 30-60 seconds before switching sides.
Below is a video for better understanding:
The Standing Quadriceps Stretch
Flexible quadriceps muscles are the key to stronger knee lift and speed. As the name suggests, this stretch focuses on quad muscles.
· To begin, stand with your legs hip-width apart.
· Stand tall with your right foot behind your buttocks and your knee pointed to the ground.
· Hold the stretch for no more than 30 seconds, keeping your thighs lined up and your core engaged.
· Rep with the other leg.
Watch this video:
Downward facing dog stretch
This stretch improves posture, stimulates blood flow, and strengthens the upper body. Follow the below listed steps:
· Get down on your hands and knees.
· Raise the Body Up and Back, forming an inverted V posture.
· Hold and breathe.
Here's a video for you:
Stretching is an important element of nearly any workout, particularly running. Stretching both before and after exercise is recommended by many experts. Even a quick jog improves your muscles.
Due to the fact that exercise shortens your muscles, neglecting your post-activity stretch can reduce your mobility over time. Stretching keeps the body's muscles flexible so they can maintain their full range of motion.
Q. Do you always stretch before/after running?
Yes, it's important
No, I don't
41 votes so far