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9 Dynamic stretches for runners

Dynamic stretches for runners and after running stretches are of neglected by many runners.

 Flexibility boosts performance, improves posture and reduces the chances of getting an injury. Gerald Smith investigates how to use dynamic stretches for runners and after running stretches.

Finding time to train can often be difficult. With the precious time we do have we want to turn up, run and go.

However, you are missing a key part of your work out, if all you do is run. Dynamic stretches for runners and flexibility training in general has been shown to:

  • Increase performance.
  • Improve range of motion.
  • prevent injuries.
  • Increase core temperature.
  • prepare the body for running.

There are research papers that question the value of stretching for injury prevention, but there are also some universally accepted facts on what type of stretch to perform before running.

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Why Should Runners Do Dynamic Stretching?

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To miss stretching is foolish! You significantly increase the chances of injuring yourself without warming up. Your goal should now be to become better at following a dynamic running stretch routine before each run.

Dynamic stretches….. What are they?

Dynamic stretches are ballistic movements that both stretch and warm up your muscles at the same time. Dynamic stretches for runners have so many benefits like:

  • The ballistic movements charge up your muscles that you are about to use for your run.
  • They are fantastic for increasing the range of motion of your joints.
  • Your body awareness will increase through using dynamic stretches.
  • Your body will be more awake, which will allow you to improve performance.
  • You will find that you have a stronger and faster run after using these dynamic stretches for runners.

Over the years dynamic stretches for runners is the go to method for warm ups in favour of performing static stretches.

This is because many studies have shown that static stretching as part of your warm up has no affect on performance.

Dynamic stretches for runners take the joint through a large range of motion quickly like when you perform a high kick.

The large range of motion places a stretch on the muscle and because it’s performed at the speeds similar to how quickly you move during running it acts as a more functional stretch compared to static stretching.

The research into dynamic stretches for runners shows that it is important for speed events, but dynamic stretches for runners is still functional for distance runners.

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The dynamic stretches for runners I will share with you in tis article are the best type of stretching to perform at the start of the work out.

However, static stretching is better for changing posture and developing range of motion, so it should be performed at the end of a work out.

Static stretching is when you take a muscle to its full range of motion and hold for 15 seconds to over one minute.

An example of this is bending over to touch your toes, and as you feel that burn in the back of your legs you hold that position.

I Have No Time To Do Dynamic Running Stretching

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How do I add dynamic running stretches into my runs?

This is what you need to do!

Perform a warm up jog or walk for a short distance. Half a mile will be enough. 

You need to do this short run in order to increase your core temperature and muscle temperature.

The dynamic stretches you will do will also increase this as well while elongating the muscle and supercharging your nervous system.

However, it is not a good idea to go straight into dynamic stretches for runners without the muscles being warm as this can cause damage to the muscles.

Once you have finished your mini warm up perform these dynamic stretches.

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Here are 9 Dynamic stretches for running you can do before your run!

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9 Easy Yoga After Running Stretches

If you run regularly, you probably are familiar with the aches and pains that you get in your legs from running long distances.

They can come if you have had a hard week of training or if you have had a particularly gruelling session. It is important to try minimising these aches and pains so that you can focus on your running.

You may not think about yoga for runners as a strong partnership, but they really do complement each other.

This is due to the amount of flexibility and strength challenges that you face as a runner. Running works the same muscles over and over again.

The repetitive shortening and lengthening of the same muscles eventually can lead to overuse injuries and muscular imbalances that can impair performance.

With regular yoga after running stretches, you can identify weak spots and imbalances on your body. It may be that one leg is stronger than the other, or maybe you can rotate better on one side compared to the other.

These are all signs that your body is out of sync, and these yoga after running stretches will help solve these problems.

The yoga for runners stretches that I will share with you will help to restore balance and symmetry, which will perfectly complement your running.

They will strengthen and open up many different muscles throughout your body, which will help you become a better runner

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Here are some of the benefits of these stretches for after running.

These yoga after running stretches will help you to understand your body more deeply.

It builds a mental awareness that helps you to detect when your body is out of alignment so that you know that you are more likely to get injured. With this knowledge, you can make adjustments to your training to hopefully avoid these injuries.

The improved alignment that you will get from these stretches will improve your running form and decrease injury risk.

The improved breathing you get from yoga has health benefits.

You will achieve better oxygen supply to all your organs, and you can apply the deep breathing techniques into your running for greater relaxation and economy.

There are other benefits as well, like reducing stress levels.

The improved breathing you get from yoga has health benefits.

You will achieve better oxygen supply to all your organs, and you can apply the deep breathing techniques into your running for greater relaxation and economy.

There are other benefits as well, like reducing stress levels.

Yoga can improve your mental state and concentration. One of the great things about running is that it helps you clear your head.

Using these yoga stretches and using some of the principles from yoga is like a double whammy for your mental state.

9 Easy yoga stretches for after running

  1. Low lunge with Rotation
  2. Half pigeon
  3. Downward dog
  4. Reclining cow face
  5. Reclining spinal twist
  6. Warrior one
  7. Revolving triangle
  8. Triangle
  9. Pigeon post
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Here are the 9 easy yoga poses for stretching after running

Areas targeted – Hips, hip flexor, obliques, lower back, groin, quadriceps and calves What to do – Start in a standing position and step one leg forward into a lunge position. Make sure that your right knee is at 90 degrees when you lower yourself down. Your ankle should be directly under your knee, and your hip should be parallel to your knees. Your left leg should now be positioned so that your knee is touching the floor and the souls of your feet facing upwards. Place your left hand next to your right foot, making sure that it is inline with your left foot. Rotate your right arm so that your hand is facing the ceiling. Hold for 10 deep breaths and then change side.

Areas targeted – Hips

Start with your hands and knees on the floor. Draw the right knee as close as you can towards your right wrist, then try to get your right ankle towards your left hand.

You want to try your best to ensure that your right knee is at a 90-degree angle. Once you have your right foot in position, try to stretch your left leg as far back as you can.

The further away you can push your left foot back the greater the stretch will be in your hips. Lean your body forward and stretch your arms out as far as you can.

Hold for 10 deep breaths. Switch sides when complete.
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Areas targeted – hamstrings, calves, and shoulders

What to do – The start position is on your hands and knees. Ensure that your wrists are under your shoulders and that your knees are above your ankles.

Spread your finger as wide as you can to increase your grip and press your palms into the floor. Spread and tuck your toes and then lift your knees from the floor until your bum is in the air.

Try to keep your legs straight and push your heels down towards the floor. Hold this position for 10 deep breaths.
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Area targeted – hips

What to do – Lie down on your back with both of your knees bent and crossed. Your feet should be out to the side.

Hold on to your left foot with your right hand, and grab your right foot with the opposite hand. If you find it uncomfortable holding your ankles you can grab your shins instead.

Hold this post for 10 deep breaths and then change legs.
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Areas targeted – upper and lower spine as well as the glutes.

What to do – To transition from reclining cow face into this stretch lower your legs and then twist to your right side with both of your legs crossed.

You must keep your opposite shoulder on the floor while you twist. Turn your head in the opposite direction that you are twisting in and extend both of your arms.

Hold for 10 deep breaths and change sides.
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