- Importance of Stretching In Running
- Standing Runner’s Stretches
As a child, we are taught how important stretching is as part of our warm-up exercises before we engage in any physical activities, but as we grow, we begin to appreciate more of the importance of flexibility exercises, especially in preventing injuries and boosting performance if you’re an athlete. In running, this is extremely important, because running with stiff and tight muscles is not only hard but can also increase the risks for leg injuries. Performing a few running stretches helps maintain or improve your flexibility and range of motion, which are both essential parts of training.
The following are some of the common stretches in standing that target the muscle group used in running:
- Standing Hamstring Stretch – Your hamstrings are the muscles that run at the back of your thigh that extend your hips and bend your knees and is considered as the most commonly injured muscle in high-speed running.
- Start by standing up straight with your feet shoulder‑width apart.
- Slowly bend forward at the hips with arms hanging down.
- Try to reach for your toes while keeping your knees straight (although some may recommend bending the knees slightly to prevent hyperextension) until feeling a stretch in your lower back and hamstrings.
- Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds before returning to standing. Perform on the other side and repeat for several sets.
- Standing Quads Stretch – The quadriceps femoris is a large muscle group that extends on the front of your thigh and serves to straighten your knees.
- Stand on one leg while holding onto a chair or touching a wall with your hand on the same side for balance and support.
- Bend your opposite knee and then grab your foot with your free hand to pull it towards your butt. Feel the stretch in front of your thigh.
- Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds, repeat, and switch on the opposite side.
- Iliotibial Band Stretch – The iliotibial band is a thick band of fascia that runs from the outside of your hip to the outer side of your knee. The tightness of the IT band results in lateral knee pain, as the shortened band rubs against the bony prominence on the outer side of the knee.
- In standing, cross the leg to be stretched behind the opposite leg.
- Lean away from the involved side until you feel a stretch across your IT band.
- Hold for 20 to 30 seconds before returning to starting position, switch to the other side, and repeat for several sets.
- Calf Stretch – The calf consists of two muscles, the superficial gastrocnemius, and the deep soleus. Both muscles insert into the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle. Tightness often results in inquiry to the Achilles tendon.
- While standing, place one leg in front of the other leg.
- Shift your weight onto your front leg while keeping the heel of the back leg pressed against the floor.
- Hold this position for 20 -30 seconds and perform the stretch on the opposite side. Repeat for several sets.
After performing these stretches, you’ll notice the difference it could make in terms of flexibility and overall performance in running. Stretching your leg muscles as part of your warm-up can help reduce the chances of incurring injuries during running by increasing your range of motion.
… And you can still boost your running with Recovapro!!!
The percussive vibration therapy provided by each Recovapro massage gun can reduce tissue adhesions and muscle tension for increased range of motion and reduced lactic acid accumulation to minimize muscle fatigue. Recovapro, before you run, gives you the same feeling of an adequate stretch and warming up for supercharged performance.