© Tracey Crowley Massage Therapist copyright 2012 

Running Stretching Routine

 

A consistent running stretching routine enables runners to overcome the rigors of the road smoothly and makes them resistant to injuries.

 

By incorporating a regular running stretching routine into your running training, you can improve your personal best times and help reduce the chance of those annoying running injuries.

Muscles used in Running
Knowledge about which muscles are involved in running helps in the design of a customized and well-programmed running stretching routine. Professional runners may have running styles unique to them, but key motions of the sport are common to all. When you are running, almost all the muscles of the body get used.

Among the primary muscles, the quadriceps (rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius), the hamstrings (semitendinosus, semimembranosus, biceps femoris long head and biceps femoris short head), gluteus maximus, iliopsoas (iliacus and psoas major) and calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) are at work during running.

While it may seem that the legs are doing all the work there are a number of supporting muscles that are also very important, including: the shoulders and upper arms, the upper abdominals and the lower back muscles. The external and internal intercostal muscles also function during running.

 

The Benefits of a Running Stretching Routine


A proper running stretching routine is crucial to overcome the rigors of running. Running, no doubt, improves our overall health, especially energy levels and the cardiovascular system. However, it sometimes tightens the muscles, minimizing flexibility. If you follow a proper stretching routine, your muscles are bound to become more flexible and resistant to soreness. Stretching as part of a cool-down also helps to flush out waste products, like lactic acid, and enhances recovery.

 

  • A regular running stretching routine can help prevent injuries like:º Runner's knee (also called chondromalacia);º Iliotibial band syndrome;º Sprained ankles;º Plantar fasciitis; andº Achilles tendonitis.

 

Finally, even the most basic running stretching routine can just make you feel better. Glossing over it in your regular running training, however, could cost you dearly.