Stretching before running is an important part of the athlete’s preparation process, just before carrying out the practice of said exercise. The purpose of stretching is to improve the condition of all the joints, since these movements increase both their flexibility and mobility.
Warming up in athletics is a fundamental aspect, which allows the joints, muscles and tendons to be prepared for the effort they will make later. In this vein, the subject of stretching before and after running has become very important in recent years. Proof of this is the opinion of sports experts, who recommend stretching before training, but through a specific dynamic stretching routine. For example, by means of a gentle continuous warm-up run, where speed should not be the priority.
These types of movements will be responsible for relieving tension, pain and a feeling of tiredness in both muscles and joints. Thus, the set of muscles of the upper and lower body will not present resistance when starting the training, since, when stretching, the imbalance of the entire musculature is also prevented.
For its part, stretching after running is convenient to reduce the concentration of lactic acid in the muscles, which originates naturally due to the fact that the carbohydrates contained in the body are converted into acids through a fermentation process.
Similarly, stretching after training decreases muscle overload, generates contractions and promotes blood circulation. However, the important thing is to get good advice on the subject of the types of stretching and, thus, devise a routine that adapts to the needs of each of the training sessions, since stretching for running is not the same as stretching for swimming. or practice javelin throwing, to mention something.
5 easy stretches before running
If you are wondering how to stretch before running, you will be interested to know that this is a simple process for which your body does not require a high energy consumption. It is a series of movements that must be executed in a slow and controlled way, so as not to hurt the muscles.
Remember that if you are a beginner you should not improvise the routine, instead, you can consult with your coach, access a stretching app on your smartphone or search the web for a complete stretching table in pdf, which you can download and have on hand. Similarly, you can review this selection of five stretches before training, which we have prepared.
Hip and quad stretch: Running involves moving a lot of bones. In this context it is also important to perform a hip warm-up. To do this, stand up and direct your right leg forward, taking a wide stride. Then, bring the knee of the opposite foot to the ground, that is, the left one. Proceed to gently press your hips forward as your left foot is pushed toward your butt.
Gluteal and Hip Stretch : Stretching the gluteal and hip muscles is essential before running. To do this, you must place the outer area of the left knee on the ground and then rotate the leg towards the bottom, so that it is under the body, forming an angle of approximately 65 °.
Next, direct your left leg just behind you, but extend it fully and keep your toes flat on the floor. In this way, you will be able to press your upper body against your knee and your hips towards the ground. All this while keeping your back straight.
Hamstring, Thigh, and Calf Stretch: This is another pre-exercise stretch that benefits the hamstrings, thighs, and calves. To do this, you must straighten your right leg and position the opposite foot against the lower area of the right thigh. Then, with your right hand, hold the same foot and, keeping your back straight, direct your entire upper body forward. Finally, the left arm should be placed above the head.
Stretching the torso, hips and quadriceps: With this exercise, you will be able to clarify your doubts about how to stretch the torso, hips and quadriceps. Begin by kneeling on a flat surface, while keeping your toes flat against the ground. Next, sit back on your heels and press your body backwards, while your hands are behind you, placed on the ground. Next, press your knees into the ground as you drive your hips forward.
Soles and Toes Stretch: Pre-run exercises include this stretch for the soles and toes muscles. Just kneel down while keeping your toes flexed. Next, sit back on your heels and slowly shift your body weight back. Thus, you can increase the level of stretch specifically in the fingers.
These are just a few of the many muscle stretches to do before running. Similarly, there are those who prefer to use treadmills, with a slow jog configuration, since this equipment helps them warm up and stretch simultaneously.
Static stretches vs dynamic stretches
Stretching is part of every athlete’s pre- and post-training routine, since these passive or active movements improve the behavior of the muscles. Next, we explain about static stretching and dynamic stretching.
Static stretching: With this type of stretching at rest, the muscles gain flexibility because the fibers that compose them progressively lengthen with movement. It is a stretch in which the muscle is gently brought to acquire a certain position without forcing the ligaments, since the objective is to stretch to the limit, but within the parameters of what is comfortable.
This movement must be done slowly and maintain the position for no more than 30 seconds, and then change limbs, until all areas of the body are covered. Also, keep in mind that this stretching work generates relaxation and does not consume much energy.
Dynamic stretching: This stretching consists of controlled impulse movements, with the purpose of progressively elongating the muscle fiber. Said active stretching is possible through exercises, in which the athlete swings and jumps, but avoiding executing any type of rebound.
Remember that this effect overextends the muscles and, therefore, could cause an injury, especially if the stretch has been performed without prior warm-up for running or other sports activity.
Although both warm-up stretches offer benefits for the muscles, it is also true that, according to studies carried out, by actively stretching we achieve greater advantages, especially if this sequence of movements is carried out before starting to run or do any exercise routine. For its part, passive or static stretching tends to reduce the athlete’s performance during practice, which is why it is recommended after training.