Ugh. I am the absolute worst when it comes to pre & post run stretching. This most certainly stems from my lack of patience: when I am done running, I am done. I don’t want to spend any additional time with frivolities – I completed the the big aspect (you know, the actual run) and I just want
a cupcake some water.
This is bad. I know this is bad. It can lead to injuries and soreness, and all kinds of bad crap but after almost a year of running, I’m still the girl that doesn’t stretch.
I take that back. I do stretch. I stretch before half’s because I need something to do to pass the time before the gunshot and also because I want to be cool and look like I know what I’m doing. So, I take a look around and find another runner who looks like she knows what shes doing, and follow suit. Imitation is the best form of flattery.
In any event, after doing some very scientific research (aka reading several Skinny Runner posts) I’ve decided to make a huge change in my running regiment. I, Kate, am going to start stretching before all my runs. (insert thunderous applause.)
Then I began to think – If I’m a loser and fail to stretch, others must as well! (however, If I am the only one, don’t tell me – I’m already embarrassed enough) So for your viewing pleasure, I put together a delightful photo montage of my basic pre and post run stretch moves:
I feel like when they try to explain stretches or exercise moves in magazines, I tend to get confused unless a picture is involved (In that aspect, I am very blonde) so I’m laying out the pictures with brief descriptions and what they stretch beneath them. After that, if you are still confused, I can’t help you – call a trainer.
- The ol’ bend over – I’m so un-flexible it’s not even funny but if you can cross your legs and touch the ground I think you are amazing. This stretches out your hamstrings
- Quad stretch – pretty self explanatory…
- …As is the calf stretch
- Although I really don’t look like I’m doing it in this picture (due to aforementioned inflexibility) lean forward using your front leg as support. This one stretches your hip flexors.
- Butterfly stretches! Remember these from high school? I sure do… These stretch your inner thigh muscles (groin).
- I learned this one in a yoga class. If you can’t really tell what I am doing, just lay down own your back, bring one leg up (right), bent at a 90 degree angle, push it over the opposite leg (left) with the opposite arm (left) keeping your shoulders grounded. Stretch your other arm (right) and twist, looking at your outstretched arm. This stretches your lower back
- Same position as 6, just going the other way
- Another yoga pose (child) that stretches out the lower back, arms, and quads
I know what your thinking…why do I need to stretch my arms for running? Well your arms do a few things while you run. First they help propel you forward and secondly, they help keep you balanced. Especially for lengthy runs, you want your arms to be loose. Also, It feels good. *Fun Fact * My shoulders are double jointed which means, if I ever get handcuffed, I can bring my arms up over my head and in front of me. Then I will still be handcuffed but perhaps impress my captor so much that they decide to free me. Mad skills – don’t hate.
- Tricep stretches
- Shoulder streches
- Chest stretches
Ok guys, obviously these are VERY basic stretches.Do different ones as needed. This is simply a visual of all the basics I try to do before and after a run.
Remember – Make it a point not to overstretch yourself, you shouldn’t ever feel any sort of sharp pain. I usually hold each stretch for about 10 seconds, switch to the opposite side and hold for an additional 10 seconds before moving into the next stretch. This whole circuit should only take about 5 minutes. And I suppose I can dedicate an additional 5 minutes to my workout. If I can you can.
Message of the day: Don’t forget to stretch!!