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by Casey McIlvaine

Stretches for RunnersExcuse us for stating the obvious here: runners love to run. It’s as simple as that. For many runners, getting outside on the road, hitting the track or indoor track is a workout that can’t be beat for them. Currently, marathons and triathlons in the fall months are becoming more and more popular. Races like the Color Run and the Electric Run continue to bring out droves and droves of runners to participate.

Running is all well and good, but you need to prepare your body before and afterwards by stretching properly. One thing you need to remember about stretches for runners, though, is that you never want to stretch cold muscles, so you should jog about 10 minutes at a slow pace before you begin to stretch, or warm up your muscles another way.

Doing the same type of stretches all the time is not as beneficial as using a variety of stretching methods. Here we’ll touch on five can’t-live-without types of stretches stretches for runners.

Static stretching
When you perform static stretches, you are targeting specific muscles to stretch by the work of other muscles. An example of a static stretch would be a standard quadriceps stretch where you lift your foot behind you with your hand and push your hips forward to engage your quads.

Active-isolated stretching
This is a kind of flexibility training that isolates a single muscle group at a time.

Contract-relax stretching
This form of stretching if an isometric contraction of a target muscle, followed by releasing of that muscle.

When you do yoga, you are performing static-active stretching that will increase your flexibility while increasing the speed of recovery.

Dynamic stretching
Dynamic stretching is controlled movements that help to improve range of motion and loosen up your muscles.

If you use this combination of stretches for runners before and after your workout, you will prevent injuries and improve you overall muscle flexibility. Never forget to stretch.


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