Post run stretches part 2
The What, Why, When and How of Post Run Stretching – Week 2
We have covered the basics of Why, When and How to do our stretching in week 1 so refer back to that article for a reminder of those details if you need to, and have also seen one stretch for each of the major running muscle groups to get us started.
There are alternative stretches that can be carried out depending on how you feel, what you find most comfortable and also depending on where you are doing your stretching e.g. some stretches are best done lying on the ground, but if it’s a hard surface or it’s mid-winter cold and wet, you might like a standing alternative. Most of the standing versions were shown last week, so this week we’ll have a look at some of the lying versions.
I didn’t discuss the importance of breathing in week 1; not just the obvious need. It’s easy to get drawn into holding your breath particularly if you feel a little strained. Resist this, keep breathing deeply and evenly to maintain a flow of oxygenated blood to your muscles while stretching.
Quad Stretch Lying (Non cheating)
- Lie down on your side, support your head to maintain a horizontal spinal.
- Bend the lower leg 90/90 (as though seated) for stability.
- Clasp the ankle of your upper leg (across the ankle joint, not the top of the foot) bringing your heel towards your bum.
- Perform a pelvic thrust, imagine doing an abdominal crunchie and maintain this during the stretch.
- Now pull back on the ankle creating a stretch down the quadriceps (thigh muscles).
The reason for the crunchie is to maintain the position of the pelvis in relation to the lower spine; otherwise you would just be tilting the pelvis forward during the stretch making it less effective and place pressure in the lower back.
Hamstrings – Lying
- Lie down on your back.
- Raise the leg to be stretched in the air almost straight.
- Clasp both hands, interlock fingers, behind your thigh near to your knee joint.
- Straighten your leg against the resistance of your hands, pulling your knee towards your chest.
- Hold for 20 seconds.
- Allow the leg to bend slightly and pause for 10 seconds
- Straighten the leg again, pulling the knee towards your chest, aiming to be straighter than the first time.
- Hold for another 20 seconds.
Glutes – Front Lying Pidgeon Fold
- On hands and knees, send one leg away to straight, toes pointed.
- Cross the out stretched leg over your centre line and over the heel of the kneeling leg.
- Allow the body to slide backwards, keeping the straight leg straight, at the same time as allowing the bent knee to twist across the centre line, so the kneeling knee becomes folded under your body.
- Control how much weight you allow to sink onto top of your folded leg by maintaining some weight on your hands and straight leg. However if comfortable, allow you entire body weight to relax over the folded leg and chill out there for 20 seconds or more.
Adductor Stretch (Seated - Butterfly)
- Sit on floor with knees bent, bring heels comfortably close to you.
- Allow knees to drop away to side, place soles of feet together.
- Reach forward and clasp each foot around top of ankles.
- Sit up straight and push elbows into inside of knees.
- Maintain pressure for 30 seconds minimum.
If anyone has any questions about stretching or need guidance when we are back together at the club, please do ask.
There are a few others that we can cover so we’ll look at those next week.