We all have our rituals heading to race day, don’t we? We prepare our favorite meals, meditate, listen to your favorite playlists, or even whip out your lucky charms. Most of you will agree that the day before the race will be one of the longest days ever. Getting your body loose and mobile should be part of every runner’s pre-race ritual. Spend time on your flexibility.
Human movement is more efficient when the body is capable of unrestricted motion and function. Through Dynamic Stretches, athletes will not have to worry about hindering athletic performance. Dynamic Stretching is a good way to naturally and gradually work on the range of your joints, flexibility, and hydration of your muscles. The athlete will hold the stretches for only 2 seconds and repeat the stretch around 6-10 times. You are going to want to feel a solid stretch in the area. When you feel that something is not right, be humble and consult a stretch therapist.
The blueprint of each person is unique. Be observant and aware of your body and have a feel on which angle or direction that needs the most tender loving care. Be patient and work on your weaknesses because it will take you the extra mile.
Basic Muscles to Stretch for Runners:
– Long sitting with the stretched leg on a table or bed and the other whole leg dangling down to the edge of the table
– Sit tall, arch your back and tighten your abs.
– Use the belt or towel to pull your foot towards you. You should feel a strong stretch in your calf or even your hamstring depending on your level of flexibility.
2. Hip flexor – Quadriceps
– Lying down on your side
– Bend the hip and knee of the resting leg up towards the chest at a 90 degree angle
– Stretch the Hip Flexor by holding onto the ankle, pulling the leg back. You should feel the stretch in front of your hip and possible, all the way to your abdomen because
the hip flexor (psoas muscle) originates from the lumbar spine.
– Maintaining the same position, stretch the Quadriceps simply by pulling the heel towards your bum.
3. Iliotibial Band (ITB)
– Lying down on your back.
– To stretch, bring the leg up and with a belt or towel, bring the leg towards the opposite side.
– You will feel a stretch on the outer part of the hip and or down the outer thigh
Lying down on your back. Use a belt or towel to pull your foot towards the ceiling. You will feel a stretch behind your knee and thigh.
5. Glutes (Buttocks)
– Sprinter’s starting position.
– Long lunge position with both hands on the floor
– Knee should be right on top of the ankle!
– Rotate the hip outwards bringing the knee towards the floor, bend the trunk forward
-You will feel the stretch in the buttocks