Running and walking are two of the most popular methods of exercise. They can be done anywhere and cost little money. But with that can come over use injuries such as shin splints, back aches, achilles problems, knee pain, and poor posture, just to name a few. Now we have all heard to stretch, sometimes before, sometimes after. But what stretches are the best? Let me briefly explain which ones should be a priority. First, let me say that before starting to run, you should begin with a postural assessment to see if you are balanced enough to withstand the repetitive pounding that running entails. But regardless, whether you choose that or not, these stretches will certainly help alleviate or prevent some discomfort.
We will start from the ground up. First stretch would be Soleus stretch and Gastoc stretch. These are two separate stretches. Next we would go up to Bicep Femoris, Semi-Tendinosus, and Semi-Membranosus, a.k.a. the hamstring muscles. Next we will focus on the Rec Femoris, muscle of the quad, followed by the Ilio-Psoas muscle. Lastly we move on to the Glut Max and Glut Medius. After the stretching is complete we finish with two movements targeting the spine, ELDOA’s. First, thoracic spine, specifically the space between T8/T9, which is fundamental when doing any activity that involves rotation. The final one, as always, is L5/S1 to elongate and hydrate the discs of the lower back. I know this sounds like a lot but these muscles and the two parts of the spine are the ones that will be used most during running and if stretched correctly can prevent soreness and speed up recovery. To learn the techniques for these stretches please contact Livingfitnj.com or any facility that practices Soma Training and/or Soma Therapy.
Stay Tuned for Part 2: What is Myo-fascial stretching?