5 Stretching Tips For Distance Runners

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Whether you’re planning to run a marathon or going for a quick jog around the block, it’s always recommended that you stretch before and after. When you exercise, your muscles gradually shorten and this happens, it significantly decreases overall mobility.

This doesn’t mix well with runners, so it’s important that you keep muscles as flexible as possible. You can accomplish this by doing various stretches. Not only is stretching is the best way to warm up for a run, it also helps improve your overall range of motion.

The Hamstrings

Your hamstrings are located in the back of your thigh, which stretch from the hip and all the way to the knee. Stretching the hamstrings is something that all runners should do.
Start off by taking a seat on the floor and extend your left of right leg. Then, depending on the leg, move your foot to the thigh you’re stretching. Lean toward your foot similar to how you would when reaching for the toes. Hold yourself in that pose for about 30 to 40 seconds. After that, repeat the same process with the other leg.

Iliotibial Band

The Illotibial band, also referred to as ITB, is located outside of your thigh and runs between your hip and shin. Anybody who is new to running can injure this area if they strain themselves too much.

Stretching this area is fairly simple. First, stand by an object that you can balance yourself on, like a wall for example. Put your right ankle ahead of your left. Balance yourself with your right arm while stretching your left arm. Lean yourself forward until you can reach your right side and hold it for about 30 seconds. Repeat the process with the other leg.

The Calf

After a run, one of the mostly affected areas are your calves. If you forget to stretch your calves or stretch them poorly, you may experience soreness and be more vulnerable to injury.

To properly stretch your calves, start by standing on your right foot with your left one in the back. Then, keep the right leg straight while bending your left one. Keep your back straightened, hold the pose for at least 30 seconds and do the same thing with the other legs.

Quadriceps

Your quadriceps are the muscles that cover the front and sides of your thigh. Stretching these muscles is crucial if you plan on running steep surfaces. Position yourself so you’re standing straight and pull one of your behind you and grab it with the corresponding hand. Next, point your knee downward to keep your knee joint safe while tucking in your pelvis. Pull the shin towards your thigh and hold it for 30 seconds.

Glutes

The glutes are the muscles that are located within your buttocks. These are some of the most important muscles in a runner’s career. You can stretch your glutes by lying on your back with your feet on the ground flat. Then, put one of your ankles over the other knee, hold the knee from behind and move it towards your chest. Hold the position for 30 seconds and switch legs.

Whether you are running to lose weight or to train for a race, it is important to make sure that you warm up.

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