Running is a tremendous form of cardiovascular fitness. If programs are managed properly running can be a source of recreation and lifelong enjoyment. In fact most runners only ever stop running because of injury.
Faulty posture and uneven loading of joints while running is what will inevitably lead to injury.
How can runners stretch and release incurred tension to avoid injury and keep running as a lifelong activity?
Stretching randomly muscles that are used during runs can actually create laxity around the joints. This potentially sets the body up for overstretched tendons that leave joints vulnerable to overuse and further injury.
Fascial stretching is a corrective stretch program that releases tension where you are restricted not where you are already flexible and supple. Typical stretches overstretch the supple areas which will lead to more tension in already restricted areas.
Fascia is an organized system of connective and integrated tissue that is essential for holding the body together and stretching it properly will release tissue and joint tension so you can run injury free forever.
- If you have tight fascia you will have restricted movement and decreased blood flow to those areas of the body
- Less blood flow to the area will allow exercise byproducts such as lactic acid to accumulate delaying recovery from runs and restricting fresh nutrition to the area.
- Fascia does not stretch like muscle, it must be held longer and it should burn.
- If you don’t release fascia you cannot release muscle.
Intelligent Running Stretches:
- When done correctly, this simple move will reopen the areas of the body that can become compressed during training runs.
- Turn back foot inward and press into the heel with all the pressure you are able.
- Maintain the pressure on the back leg and lean forward – the ankle will feel a stretch on the outside and the front of the hip will burn
- Enhance this part of the stretch by contracting the glutes of the back leg and tilting the pelvis under
- Slightly turn the torso away from the back leg
- Reach the opposite hand up with intense pressure, the wrist can flex here to enhance the stretch
- The back arm can be anchored or not to cable, doorframe or wall and it will reach with intense pressure backwards
- HOLD for 60-90 seconds.
- Repeat 3-5 times and repeat on opposite side
2. This one is a must for most runners. It will target the TFL, tensor fascia latae that stabilizes the hip and is a chronic issue for runners.
- Kneeling and back heel is pressed hard outward
- Lean forward from hip, tilt hip under and contract the glutes on back leg
- Reach up with intense pressure through the arm overhead and lean away from the hip
- Hold 60-90 seconds and repeat 3times on each side.
Did you try the stretches or do you have any stretches of your own you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!