The 8 best stretches for runners
Having good range of motion, through key areas of your body, is really important if you are going to maximise your running potential and take advantage of the excellent resources the human body has.
When moving, the body doesn’t really care how it gets the job done. It will not, necessarily, choose the best and most mechanically efficient way to move, it will choose the easiest! Your body will always take the path of least resistance. So that means if you’re tight through certain key areas, your body will bypass them, and ask a more mobile segment to get the job done, potentially leading to injury and minimising performance.
The most important areas, in my opinion, for runners are the hip/pelvis area and the foot. Unfortunately, the common areas of tightness that I see in most of my runners are the hips, the ankles and the big toe. The main perpetuater of this problem is modern lifestyles – sitting, chairs, shoes! I won’t go too much into that because that’s definitely a post for another day!
Below are my favourite stretches for these important areas. Most of the videos are from Kelly Starrett’s mobility WOD. I’m a huge fan of Kelly Starrett’s work, so if you’re not familiar with him, I would strongly suggest having a look at his stuff. The stretches are quite aggressive, so take your time and ease into them. The stretches should never be painful – so if you’re feeling pain, back off the stretch!
2 mins is a good guideline for your mobility work. If you can get some heat on the tissues your going to stretch, before hand, then that will also be helpful
The best stretches for runners – #1 – Hip flexion/External rotation
Go to 1min 30sec of this video for the stretch
The best stretches for runners – #2 – Hip flexion/External rotation
The best stretches for runners – #3 – Hip Extension
Go to 2mins into this video for the stretch
The best stretches for runners – #4 – Hip Extension
Go to 2mins 10secs of this video for the stretch
The best stretches for runners – #5 – Ankle dorsiflexion
Go to 2mins 50secs into this video for the stretch
The best stretches for runners – #6 – Ankle dorsiflexion
Go to 2mins 50secs of this video for the stretch
The best stretches for runners – #7 – Big toe mobilisations
Go to 2mins 15 of this video for the mobilisations
The best stretches for runners –#8 – Big toe stretch
Have a play around, and some fun, with these and let me know how you get on.