Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Some of my favorite running stretches

I was asked to put together a presentation for our middle school cross country running team on dynamic warm-up and stretching.

The current research does not support stretching before running as a way to prevent injury. The best way to prevent injury and improve performance is by performing dynamic running drills that gradually increase range of motion while increasing activation of certain muscle groups and also improve balance and stability.

However, stretching after activity can help address muscle imbalances and asymmetries. Ultimately, this will help to prevent overuse injuries, especially if the stretches are done after activity with special attention paid to stretches that reveal more tightness on one side than the other.

I recommend that stretches be held for 20 to 30 sec (about 5 to 6 even breaths) and repeated 1 to 4 times a side. If an area feels tight, perform more repetitions. If one side is tighter than the other, perform an extra rep on that side.

The following are some of the basic stretches that I recommend for runners. I have giving three options for the piriformis stretch. Choose your favorite one. There is no need to do all three.

Piriformis stretch in standing
Piriformis stretch in sitting
Alright. I give up. That's all you're getting tonight. I'm having problem uploading the photos for the stretches. Stay tuned for more piriformis stretching, hams, quads, calves, hip flexor and IT band.

To be continued.

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