The Runner’s Guide to Stretching

runners guide to stretching

The debate continues to rage about the benefits (proven or not) of post run stretching.

While I don’t think it needs to be extensive or even the instant we stop running, I’ve seen in many runners I work with that a little time spent stretching can both feel good and help to release tight muscles, which goes on to prevent injury.

I think the Running Doc makes some fantastic points in his discussion of the post run stretch, you should read the whole thing but here are a couple highlights:

Running injuries occur, most often, as a result of “overuse,” where a tight structure pulls at an incorrect biomechanical angle, causing inflammation and pain.

Would anyone get ITB syndrome without a tight ITB? No.

As we age, our muscles and tendons get tighter and more brittle. Not stretching will land you in my or my colleagues’ office someday.

One of the best things about stretching for runners is that it should be more passive and thus relaxing. In fact, restorative yoga or light stretching is often better for us than a hard core class because we need to mentally and physically just let go!

And for those who ask, DO NOT STATIC STRETCH BEFORE the run. This is a great way to get injured, instead take a look at this 5 minute dynamic warm up to get your muscles loose.

Following are a few of the best restorative stretches for runners (and up we’re using props today!).

Often running leaves us both energized and tightly wound {anyone else find it harder to reach your toes post run?!} so using a yoga strap and block can ensure we don’t over stretch or help us increase our range of motion.

These stretches are also super useful for anyone who sits all day, as we’ve shown repeatedly that shortens our muscles which then throws off our stride. So take a deep breathe, give yourself a moment to relax and just enjoy these stretches, perhaps while catching up on some of those tv shows you pretend not to watch {cough Real Housewives}.

Without further ado the best post run stretches:

Continue Reading @  Run to the Finish

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