Health
March 11, 2021

Eight stretches for joggers and other tips to prevent running injuries

Wenn Sie Ihre Sportschuhe anziehen, dann wollen Sie nur noch loslaufen? Nicht so schnell! Es ist überaus wichtig, sich zu dehnen, um die Flexibilität und die Bewegungsamplitude Ihrer Muskeln zu erhalten. Laufen mit steifen, starren Muskeln kann mehrere Wochen Krankengymnastik nach sich ziehen. Es wäre doch schade, das Training unterbrechen zu müssen.

How to plan your stretching session

Never stretch without a little warm-up and ensure you do progressive stretches. For example, start with a few jumping jacks or walk around for a few minutes, then go into some dynamic stretching (described below). In 10 minutes, you’ll be ready to go.

The goal is to focus on stretching the main muscle groups that you’ll be using: your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes (rear hip muscles), and hip flexors. And don’t forget other moves to warm up your abs, back muscles, and calves.

Avoid getting injured from training by warming up your muscles before each run.

jogger doing some stretching

Stretch 1 – Lunges

Great for: your main muscle groups used while running

Step 1: Stand with your feet apart and directly beneath your hips, with your back straight.

Step 2: Lean slightly forward and take a big step forward (see below).

Step 3: Bend your front knee to 90 degrees and lower your back knee toward the ground. Maintain this position for a few seconds, then stand back up. Make sure to avoid arching your lower back.

Do 10 lunges, alternating between your right and left legs.

Lunges strengthen and stretch your entire lower body.

Stretch 2 – Hip flexor stretch

Great for: office workers who sit all day long.

Step 1: Start with a position or lunge with your front knee bent to 90 degrees.

Step 2: Gradually raise your back knee so that you feel the stretching along the front of your back thigh. Keep your front knee aligned over your toes.

Step 3: Raise your arms above your head and keep them there for a few seconds, then let them drop back down.

Step 4: Continue in a dynamic motion, leaning forward and raising your arms, then lowering your arms to return to your initial position.

Repeat the stretch five times on each side.

Your hip flexors are relatively small muscles, but they have an enormous impact on performance.

Stretch 3 – Side stretch

Great for: preventing side stitches

Step 1: Raise your arms above your head.

Step 2: Tighten your abdominal muscles, then lean to the right, bending at the waist.

Step 3: Hold that position for a few seconds, then lean to the left.

Step 4: Do this movement dynamically, holding a breath or two on each side before switching.

Repeat the stretch five times on each side.

Your core must also be warmed up before running.

Stretch 4 – The king pigeon pose

Great for: stretching your glutes and iliotibial (IT) bands

Step 1: Sit down and bend your right knee in front of you on the ground so that your knee points slightly to the right and the outside of your thigh and lower leg are against the ground.

Step 2: Stretch your left leg out behind you, placing the top of your thigh, lower leg, and foot against the ground.

Step 3: Place your right hand behind your right ear and turn toward the left so that your right elbow comes across your body.

Repeat the stretch five to eight times on each side.

Warm up your hips and core at the same time.

Stretch 5 – Hip circles

Great for: opening up your hip joints and muscles

Step 1: Place your hands on your hips and spread your feet to the width of your hips.

Step 2: Make a circular movement with your hips in one direction, as if using a hula hoop.

Step 3: Increasingly expand these hip circles until you are using your entire range of motion.

Step 4: To deepen the stretch, make brief pauses when you reach the front, back, left, and right of the circle.

Do six to ten rotations in one direction, then in the other.

Imagine yourself hula-hooping.

Stretch 6 – Around-the-world lunges/ stretches

Great for: warming up and stretching your main leg muscles

Step 1: Stand with your feet apart and directly beneath your hips, with your back straight.

Step 2: Position one leg forward and bend the knee of the other leg to 90 degrees (forward lunge).

Step 3: Return to centre and position and stretch with your leg to the side (lateral lunge).

Step 4: Again return to centre and stretch backwards, bending the other knee to 90 degrees (backward lunge).

Repeat this series of lunges five times on one side, then five times on the other.

It’s time for more stretches!  

Stretch 7 – Calf stretch

Great for: giving some love (and pep) to your calves

Step 1: Stand on the edge of a step using the front of your feet. For balance, hold onto a rail or any other fixed object.

Step 2: Rise up on your toes, then slowly lower your heels so that they go below the step and you feel a stretch in your calf muscles. Hold the position for a few seconds.

Repeat the stretch ten times.

Doing some good lifts with your calves helps strengthen your muscles and prepare you for an injury-free run.

Stretch 8 – Quad stretch

Great for: your hips and quadriceps

Step 1: Bend your knee and grab the top of your foot.

Step 2: Pull your foot towards your right glute/ buttock and hold this position for 10 seconds.

Step 3: Keep your torso straight and your head and shoulders aligned with your hips.

Repeat the stretch three to five times on each side.

A classic stretch for your quads.

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