Stretching and mobility are keys to helping an athlete avoid injury and unnecessary pain.
A regular regime of stretching before and after running will help you to feel loose and relaxed whilst running and aid your body’s recovery time.
Mobility will give you more range of movement, increase the flexibility of joints and muscles and enable you to develop a fluent and relaxed running style.
If they can be done as 30/45 second efforts with equal recovery three to four times a week after training they will help your body to become stronger and more flexible.
- Sit-ups – knees bent, feet flat on the floor, hands loosely across the chest
- Press-ups – try to keep your body straight and lock out elbows.(if you can’t do a full press up keep your knees on the ground )
- Squats – feet together, pull up to between arms and kick out straight
- Star-jumps – arms and legs straight, lift arms as you jump and push legs out to the sides
- Step-ups – use a step or bench about 20cm’s high
- Side-bends – stand upright, hand on side of your leg, keep back straight and stretch hand down leg, alternate sides
- Hopping – 10metres out/back then change leg
- Windmills – Assume position below, arms hanging loose, swing out to side and up as far as is comfortable and back
- Knee Jumps – Feet together, jump on spot, bringing knees up
- Back Stretch – Lie on the floor, push up as in a press up but keep hips on ground, lock elbows, hold for 10 seconds relax and repeat
- Leg Raises – Lie on back, hands at sides, legs straight, lift 15cms off ground hold for 10 seconds and relax, lower slowly and repeat x10
Always jog a little to warm up before starting these stretches. Hold each stretch for 15/20 seconds. Don’t go past a point where it starts to feel painful. Never bounce stretches. Move slowly into each stretch. Try to stretch before and after running sessions.
- Lower Back – Lie on back, knees to chest hold for 15 seconds release slowly and repeat 3 times
- Back/Glut’s – Lie on back, pull knee across body and hold as shown, repeat 4 times each side
- Hamstrings – Lie on back, raise straight leg, pull slowly into stretch and hold, release slowly, repeat x4 each leg
- Calf/Hamstring – Sit with one leg outstretched and other foot against knee, put towel over foot and pull, hold and repeat on other leg.
- Calf – lean against wall, heels on ground, one leg forward and push hips towards the wall, repeat on other leg
- Calves – lean on back of a chair, both knees bent, one in front of other, heels on floor and push rear knee downwards
- Quads – Use wall to steady you, pull foot up to bottom and hold, change leg and repeat
- Hamstrings – Use steeplechase barrier or similar to try to keep leg straight, hold and repeat on other leg
- Abductors – Sit with heels together and push down on knees.
- Ilio tibial band – (band that runs down the outside of your leg from hip to knee) Bend leg over straight leg, use elbow, adjust raised knee and push slowly If you can make this routine a habit it will really help your preparation and help avoid injuries !!