In this Article we will be addressing the How To Stretching as well as Why Stretching is Important.
What is Stretching?
Stretching is a form of physical exercise that places particular parts of the body into various positions that lengthen or elongate their muscles and associated soft tissues in order to improve their muscle flexibility, control, and range of motion.
Exercise can shorten your muscles over time, decreasing mobility and increasing the chances of injuries. Stretching keeps the muscles in your body flexible so that they are at their full range of motion. This helps prevent injuries to muscles and other tissues such as the tendons, ligaments, skin, scar tissue, among others.
That answers the “Why Stretching is important”,
leaves us now with the “How To Stretching”
Stretching can be grouped into two main categories:
a) Static stretching
– these are types of stretching exercises that are performed with no movement. The individual gets into their preferred stretch position and holds it for a specified period.
b) Dynamic stretching
– these are stretches that involve movement. The individual uses a bouncing or swinging movement to extend their flexibility and range of motion.
When is it recommended to stretch?
According to experts, stretching is a vital exercise that you should do before and after running.
Here’s Why Stretching is Important:
a) Stretching Before running
Stretching is important before running since it warms up the body and the muscles, preparing you for the impending running exercise. Stretching before physical activity has been proven to help improve your performance in that activity, so you can expect to have a better, more successful run. Another benefit of stretching before running is that it can help reduce the chances of getting injuries like muscle tears, ligament tears, sprains, and strains.
b) Stretching after running
Stretching is equally important after your run is vital as it reduces muscle soreness and helps you to get your muscles back to their original length.
Stretching is vital to every runner who wants healthy muscles and reduced risk of injuries.
In the following paragraphs we shall look at How to Stretching and some of the best stretching exercises for runners but before that, let’s look at some of the reasons why you need stretching before the how to stretching.
1. It improves flexibility
– Regular stretching helps improve your flexibility which is important for your overall health. Improved flexibility not only makes it easier for you to perform everyday activities but it also can help delay the reduced mobility that’s brought about by aging.
2. Improves your range of motion
– Stretching makes it easier to move your joints through their full range of motion.
3. Improves your performance in various physical activities
– Stretching before engaging in sports, running or other physical activities helps warm up your muscles which can improve your performance in such activities.
4. Improves blood circulation to muscles and tissues
– Regular stretching boosts blood circulation to muscles which helps reduce soreness and shortens your recovery time.
5. Helps prevent and heal back pain
– One of the leading causes of back pain is tight back muscles. Stretching can help you heal or prevent future back pain by strengthening your back muscles.
Best stretching exercises for runners
1. Hamstrings stretch
Sit on the floor and extend your right leg.
Move your left foot towards your inner thigh such that it touches your right leg’s inner thigh.
Lean forward towards your right foot as if reaching for the toes and hold the position for at least 30 seconds.
Repeat this with your other leg.
2. Quadriceps stretching
You need to stretch your ‘quads’ regularly especially if you run up and down hills.
Stand upright and pull the right leg behind you with your right hand.
Make sure your knee is pointing downward.
Hold this position for a minute and repeat with your left leg.
Stand with your left foot behind your right foot.
Bend the right leg forward while keeping the left leg straight.
Keep the left foot firmly on the ground and don’t bend your left knee.
Straighten your back while holding the pose for about 30 seconds.
Repeat with the other leg
Lie on your back and keep your feet flat and both knees bent.
Pull your left knee up to your chest and pull it towards the right shoulder. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
5. Psoas stretch:
Start by putting your left foot forward in a lunge position
Keep your shoulders and chest upright while pushing your pelvis back. Lean forward until you feel a stretch then hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides.
6. Gluteal muscles:
Lie on your back and keep both feet flat and knees bent.
Cross the left ankle over the right knee.
Grab the right knee and bring your leg towards your chest.
Hold for 30 seconds then switch sides.
Stand in a wide stance with your feet spread apart.
Without moving the right leg, lean to the left and bend your left knee until you feel the stretch.
Hold for 30 seconds then switch sides.
8. Lower back:
Lie on your back.
Grab both knees and pull them towards the chest until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds.
Now that you know How to Stretching and you have been explained Why Stretching is important:
Stretching before and after exercise is crucial for runners who want to keep their muscles and overall bodies healthy. It takes just a few minutes but it can help boost your performance and prevent injuries that can keep you from running.
AFTER BURNER / Food for Thought
Did you know there is also Golf Stretching Exercises ?! and even Golf Stretching Exercises for Seniors !?
Taking a minute thinking about this, I am wondering if maybe this is something I should consider for an article here on Dailybyfitness ?