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ESSENTIAL STRETCHES FOR RUNNERS

Running can be a wonderful cardiovascular activity but it can also take its toll on the body. Stretches for runners are crucial to the long-term health of your lower body.


A runner’s job is such that the lower body takes a lot of the stress. If you’ve ever forgotten to stretch before or after running, then you know exactly how bad it can feel.

Stretch regularly and you’ll be able to run longer distances, faster, and more comfortably. Running is also an effective back pain relief exercises.


Regular running and a healthy cardio exercise to improve the over all health
Running

Stretches for lower back pain


Lower back pain is part of the most common aches and pains among runners. If you’ve ever had a recurring problem with your lower back while running, then you know how bad it can be.


Here are a few stretches that will help relieve lower back pain:


Hamstring stretch: This stretch is great for stretching the muscles in the back of your legs where you feel a lot of tension after a run.


Stretching your hamstrings will help relieve tension in your lower back and make it easier to run.

Sit well on the floor with one leg bent and the other leg out straight. Slowly lean forward until you feel tension in your hamstring. Hold this position for like 15-20 seconds and repeat on the other side. Hip flexor stretch: The hip flexor is another important muscle group that needs regular stretching if you want to run more comfortably. The hip flexors are located near your groin area and can be stretched by lying on your back with one of your knee bent and the other leg straight out over your body with toes pointing toward the ceiling (see picture). Try to bring that straight leg toward you but don't force it - just hold it

there for 20-30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg. Calf stretch: The calves are a very important muscle group to stretch before and after running. Calf stretches can be done by standing next to a wall, placing one foot out in front of you, and then bending that knee until you feel tension in your calves. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side. Hip flexor/quadriceps stretch: This is another great stretch that can be done while running or at any time during the day. It will help loosen up your quadriceps and hip flexors so they aren't as tight after a run or when you're just sitting around because it's an easy way to relieve tension in these muscles. To engage in this stretch, sit on the floor with one leg bent and the other leg straight out over your body with toes pointing toward the ceiling (see picture). Try to bring that straight leg toward you but don't force it - just hold it there for 20-30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.


Stretches for quads


The quads are another important muscle group to regularly stretch if you want to run more comfortably without pain or injury.


For this type of stretch, sit on the floor with one leg bent and the other leg straight out over your body with toes pointing toward the ceiling. Try to bring that straight leg toward you but don't force it - just hold it there for 20-30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.


Stretches for hips


Hips are another important muscle group to stretch if you want to run more comfortably without pain or injury.


To do this hip stretch, sit on the floor with one knee bent and the other leg straight out over your body with toes pointing toward the ceiling (see picture). Try to bring that straight leg toward you but don't force it - just hold it there for 20-30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.



Stretching the whole body before a regular running exercise.
Running Stretches

Stretch before running


You should always stretch before running, even if you're short on time. It's a great way to loosen up your muscles and get them ready for a run, using a massage ball is also great when doing a after workout stretches. I've never been injured while stretching before running and I believe that is because I always take the time to do it.


Stretching after running


Another great way to help prevent injury is to do some light stretching after a run. This will help relax your muscles so they aren't as tight and sore after you finish your run (or when you're just sitting around).


I usually spend about 5 minutes doing some light stretching after every run - it's a great habit to get into!


A lot of runners don't stretch after their runs but I think it's an important habit that should not be overlooked. The more often you stretch, the better flexibility you will have, which will lead to less injury and more comfort as you run. And remember: It's important not only what type of stretches you do, but also how often you stretch!

There are lots of great stretches you can do before running to help loosen up your muscles so they aren't as tight after a run.


Stretch routine


Stretch routine for runners should include the hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and ankles.


Stretch for 5-10 minutes before and after your run to keep your muscles flexible and to prevent injury.


Here is a list of some stretches that you can do during your warm up and cool down, this stretches can also be done with a use of massage ball roller.


1. Hamstring Stretch: Stand facing a wall with one leg out at 90 degrees in your front and the other one behind you with a slight bend in the knee. Place your hands on the wall to support yourself as you lean forward until you feel a minor pull in the back of your thigh. Hold for 20 seconds while still breathing deeply then switch legs. Using a massage ball hamstring is also helpful for this stretch.

2. Quadriceps Stretch: Standing upright with one leg slightly bent, place one hand on a wall or chair for balance as you bend forward from the waist until you feel a slight pull in the front of your thigh. Hold for like 20 seconds while breathing deeply then switch legs 3 times per week.

4. Calf Stretch: Stand facing a wall about 2 feet away from it with one foot behind you and one foot in front of you on its toes (as pictured). Raise your arms over head and lean into the wall until you feel stretch in your



Upper Body Stretching to avoid injuries during and after an exercise.
Upper Body Stretch

Stretches that will work to release tension and improve flexibility in your calves, hamstrings, hips, and quadriceps.


1. Crisscross squat: This stretch is perfect for stretching out your hip flexors as well as activating your core muscles. Make sure you are standing up tall and look straight ahead into the distance with deep breaths in between each repetition. If you sense any type of pain while doing this stretch, stop and consult with your doctor.


2. Inch Worm: This classic yoga pose will work to release tension in your lower body and get your blood flowing. Make sure you bend at the knees and slowly get up on your feet, working to keep a straight back.


3. Kneeling hip flexor stretch: For this stretch, kneel on the floor with one leg in front of the other. Make sure you keep your hips squared and reach forward with your arms toward the floor. Hold onto something for balance if necessary; however, make sure you do not pull on your neck or head during this stretch.


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