Flexibility for Runners (August 30th, 2011)

On Tuesday, August 30th, ‘Flexibility for Runners’ was presented for the Denman Running Room’s Marathon clinic.  During this info session, presented by StayFitAnywhere’s Advanced Health & Fitness Specialist, Andrew Burchell, the reasons and guidelines for stretching were discussed, followed by demos of great pre-run & post-run stretches.  Here is a quick review of what was covered during the info session:

WHY STRETCH?

  • Muscle is living tissue that, when not used, becomes short and stiff, and progressively declines in function.

ACSM’S POSITION ON THE BENEFITS OF GOOD FLEXIBILITY:

  • Decreases muscle tension
  • Increases muscle relaxation
  • Improves coordination through greater ease of movement
  • Increases range of motion
  • Injury prevention
  • Improvement + Development of body awareness
  • Increases circulation + air exchange
  • Decreases muscle viscosity causing contractions to be easier & smoother
  • Decreases soreness associated with other exercise (like running)

ACSM GUIDELINES FOR FLEXIBILITY TRAINING:

  • Minimal:  2-3 days a week
  • IDEAL:  5-7 days a week
  • Stretch to tightness at the end of the range of motion but not pain
  • Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds
  • 2-4x/stretch
  • Static stretch all major muscle groups

DYNAMIC STRETCHING (PRE-RUN):

  • Quad to Hamstring stretch (quick quad stretch to front leg swing)
  • Trunk twisting (rotate your torso without moving your hips)
  • Alternating Calf Stretching

STATIC STRETCHING (POST-RUN):

  • Abductors (Figure 4 leg position + ankle movements)
  • Traps (Handcuff stretch or ‘Leg Grab’)
  • Calfs (use a curb)
  • Hamstrings (shoe on the curb + pull hip back)
  • Hip Flexors (lunge position + posterior pelvic tilt)

Happy running!  And don’t forget to download your free copy of “The 12 Keys to Fat Loss”

Andrew Burchell, Dipl.Ex.Sci

Advanced Health & Fitness Specialist

andrew.burchell@stayfitanywhere.com

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