5 Stretches for runners
We have put together 5 essential stretches for runners! The combination of sports and nature makes Tirol's Sports and Vitality Park the perfect destination for running enthusiasts. Exercising outdoors is not only good for your health, it's also great fun. If you want to burn off some energy on one of the region’s countless running routes, don't forget to incorporate regular stretching exercises into your training routine.
Important things to remember
Always limber up before you exercise, but keep in mind that stretching is not a warm up activity. Make sure to warm up before you stretch and don't overdo it. Focus on good technique and if you feel pain, ease up on the tense muscle to prevent damage. When you’re stretching properly, you will feel a slight pull in the muscle.
- Give your body time: Avoid bouncy or jerky movements when stretching. Keep your stretches slow and progressive until you feel a slight pull in the muscle. Hold the position for a few seconds, then release.
- Keep your calm: Breathing deeply helps your body relax.
- The best time: There are different opinions among experts as to when is the best time for stretching.
- But one thing is for sure: Stretching before you run is counterproductive and may actually decrease performance.
Hip flexor stretch
The hip flexor is one of the most important muscles for runners as it stabilises the pelvis and leads the thigh forward.
Instructions - Drop into a lunge and place one knee behind you below your hip. The front knee is in position above the heel. The shoulder and the straight arm on the side of the back leg are extended above the hip. The other arm can be placed at the hip or on the front leg. Now push the hip forward until you feel the pull in the muscle and hold.
The inner thigh muscles are also very much used during the running. Stretching relieves tension, which prevents the thighs from becoming "tight".
Instructions - While sitting, place the soles of your feet together and clasp them with the hands. Bring the feet as close to your body as possible. Keep your back should straight and now press the knees towards the floor.
Inner thigh stretch
The inner thighs can be stretched while standing.
Instructions - Stand with a very wide stance and bend one leg. Now bend your upper body forward as far as possible or reach towards the floor with your hand on the side of the extended leg.
Standing one leg thigh stretch
The standing one leg thigh stretch is the easiest way to strech the front of the thigh. It requries some balancing, but you can hold on to a bench or tree.
Instructions - Stand on one leg and bend the second leg back so you can hold it with your hand. Slowly pull your foot closer to your backside. The bent leg is parallel to your standing leg, the upper body upright. Tense your abdominal muscles (no hollow back) an push your hop forward to increase the pull.
The calf muscles play significant role in running, and ignoring those muscles can slow you down. In addition, tight calf muscles can have a negative effect on the feet, knees and pelvis.
Instructions - Extend one leg and bend the other one slightly. Support the bent leg with one hand and pull the toes towards your knee with the other hand to initiate the stretch in the calf.