With warmer weather comes more outdoor activities like running which can improve your mood, get you in better shape and increase your energy. Over time, high impact exercises like running can decrease muscular mobility and increase the likelihood of injury. So, it is important to pay close attention to the first signs of injury such as tightness of the muscle, aching, stiffness, numbness, tingling, joint pain, weakness, swelling, tenderness and a limited range of motion. There are several ways to prevent injury including some tips I offer in How to Avoid Injury During Exercise.
One of these tips I offer is stretching! Stretching before running can help prime and limber up the body and prepare it for movement. Stretching after your run can help lengthen the utilized muscles back out in order to avoid injury long term. Though there is a bit of controversy and a lot of opinions about stretching before and after, I always recommend listening to your body. If you feel stiff and achy pre-run, try a warm-up routine with stretching to get your blood flowing. Post-run, simply add in some stretches for those areas you typically notice tension after your cool down portion. One thing to make a mental note of right off the bat is there are various types of stretching.
- Ballistic stretching
- Dynamic stretching
- Myofascial Release
- Active stretching
- Passive (or relaxed) stretching
- Static stretching
- Isometric stretching
- PNF stretching
You can read more about different types of stretching here.
The more you play around with these styles, the more you will learn and determine what works best for you. Let me share with you some of my 10 Favorite PRE- and POST Run Stretches.
PRE-Run DYNAMIC Stretches
Horizontal Arm SwingsStanding Alternate Toe TouchesHigh Knee SkipButt KickersWalking Lunges
POST-Run STATIC Stretches
Standing Hamstring StretchStanding Quadricep StretchCalf StretchChest Opener StretchGlute/Piriformis StretchWe are also here to help! If you’re ready for support or want more information on stretching and exercising, drop us an email or give us a call at 877-293-9355 ext. 0!