Stretching is an excellent way to improve your health, especially when you want to prevent yourself from running injuries. Stretching enhances flexibility and reduces tension in your muscles and fascia after training. Make space for this kind of exercises in your workout/running routines and take advantage of all the health benefits which come with stretching. Get fit with Meglio and before switching to your stretching routine, make sure you mobilise your joints and warm up your muscles.
Benefits of doing exercises
# Reduces lactic acid
How can stretching help you to eliminate lactic acid from your muscles?
When you work out your muscles get stressed. At that moment, your body produces lactic acid, which makes your muscles tired and sore. Stretching helps you to release lactic acid faster and therefore having less pain.
# Boosts your energy
Can stretching help you to boost your energy?
When your body cools down, after an exercise or running session, the brain releases endorphins, which makes you feel good and relaxed. Stretching helps your muscles to recover faster, and you will feel more energized.
# Prevents injury
Should I stretch to prevent running injury? Definitely, yes! While stretching, you increase your ROM (range of motion) and flexibility. Tensions in your muscles and fascia are released. You will feel more secure and stable in your movements.
Meglio presents you the top 10 stretches for runners to prevent injury. Take your time while stretching, don’t overdo your movements. Play with it, breath, but never hurt yourself.
#1 Standing figure four stretch
You are in a standing position with your feet about hip-width apart. Hold on to a wall or bench with both arms. Bring your right knee up and place your right ankle just above your left knee. Bend your left knee and hinge from the hips. Now you have a hip opening sequence and a stretch in your gluteal area at the same time. Take some breaths here and repeat on the other side.
#2 Standing forward fold
Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Tip your pubic bones forward, so that you are active in the lower back. Engage your core and knees. Hinge from the hips. Now release your hands to your shins or to the ground. Relax your neck. Keep your slightly knees bent and slowly try to straighten them. Make sure you feel a stretch in your hamstrings and/or calves and not in the back of your knees.
#3 Standing hamstring stretch
Stand tall and place your right leg in front of you. Flex your foot and push the heel into the ground with your toes pointing up. Bend your left knee. Lean your upper body forward and place your hands gently on your right knee. Feel a gentle stretch through your hamstrings.
#4 Standing cross-legged hamstring stretch
Stand up straight and cross your right foot over your left. Hook your feet here, keep your legs straight and engage your knees. Start this position by bringing your hands to your thighs and hinging your hips with a straight spine. Feel a nice stretch through your hamstrings. When you are ready, switch to your other leg. For support, you always can hold on to a wall.
#5 Shin stretch
Stand up straight with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Shift your weight now to your right foot. Relax your left leg and point your toes a few inches behind you to the ground and slightly rotate your knee inward. By bringing some more weight to your left toes, you will feel a stretch in your anterior shin area. When you are done, repeat it on the other side.
#6 Runner’s lunge
Start in a standing position. Make a big step forward with your right foot. Now bend your right knee. Try to stay with your knee right above your toes. Extend your left leg. For this, you might have to slide your left foot back a bit. From this exercise, you will get a great hip, front body and quad stretch. Take your time and switch to the other side.
#7 Pigeon stretch
Take your runner’s lunge a bit further to pigeon stretch. Get in runner’s lunge starting position and now bring your left knee to the ground. Relax your foot with palms facing up. Bring your right knee out to the side and place your whole shin to the floor. Try to bring your shin parallel to the front end of your mat. Balance your body here with your arms. Play with your movement and stay in your comfort zone here. This is quite an advanced exercise. Always modify when needed and listen to your body. Never over arch your lower back.
#8 Modified Hurdler’s stretch
Take a seat on the ground with both legs extended. Bring your right foot in with your palm facing the inner thigh. Straighten your back. Hinge from the hips forward, not from your lower back. Try to grab your left foot with your hands or rest them on the side of your left leg. Modify this exercise by keeping the knee slightly bent.
#9 Lateral supine stretch
Lie down on a mat on your back. Extend your arms overhead and grab your right wrist with your left hand. Now cross your right foot over your left ankle. Pull your right arm out and to the left side. Bring your hooked feet slightly to the left. Try to make a moon or banana shape with your body. Feel a gentle stretch through the right side of your body. When you are ready, take it to the other side.
#10 Child’s pose
Sit down on your knees. Let your heels fall out to the side and place your buttock over your heels. Hinge your upper body over your thighs. Bring your extended arms in front of you walk them forward. Stretch your arms further until you feel a nice stretch in the sides of your upper body. Keep your forehead on the ground, if possible Enjoy your breaths here.
You can hold each stretch up to 45 seconds or as you feel. With each exhale, try to stretch a little bit further. Take your time and always go with the breath. Make sure you feel the stretches in your muscles and not in your joints. Meglio wants you to make the best out of your running workout. Take these tips and prevent yourself from running injuries. Always hydrate well before, during and after running sessions.
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