8 Best Running Stetches

Friday, February 08, 2013

Hi Guys,

Just wanted to finish our discussion on stretching. Last week we looked at dynamic stretches that are best used as a warm up and today I want to talk about  using your old fashioned static stretches, that is stretches you hold for 10 seconds or so, the stuff you probably always did for warm ups as a kid. It turns out, that kind of stretching slightly decreases your strength for a short period of time and can also slightly increase your risk of injuries. So if you look at sporting fields and major runs at the moment you won’t see to many elite athletes sitting on their stretches pre game or race. It’s a different story post-race or before you cool down after you run. This is the time you want to look at static stretches as research has showed that you get best results holding a stretch for around that 30 seconds to 1 minute time frame and that’s due to the muscle fibres and probably linked to the glad wrap around your tissue (fascia) as well.  We are always very aware that the glad wrap tissue is made up of collagen fibres and if you want to stretch collagen its always a function of pressure over time so you’ve got to sit on those stretches for at least that 30 seconds to 1 minute guys.

The other key to staying injury free is to make the stretches systematic. As runners we often focus on legs but if we have tightness through our upper body, neck and upper back that will all limit our speed, endurance and effect mechanics that causes injuries. So get into your stretches but always remember to check with your doctor before starting any program and keep in mind that stretching is only one component of your recovery strategy. To stay active throughout life you want to learn all your strategies and use them all as part of your body tool kit. Have fun guys!



How to warm up before a run

Friday, February 01, 2013
Hi Guys! I’ve been having a lot of people ask me about stretching lately and what I’m noticing is most runners are a little bit confused as to if its best to stretch before running, after running, and even what type of stretches to do. The confusion has probably started because for many years we just presumed stretching was a positive thing to do. Recent research has kind of thrown the cat amongst the pigeons in that it suggests that some static stretches when you hold them for 15 to 30 seconds prior to your run can decrease your strength. So what are we meant to do as a warm up? The answer is to focus on a dynamic warm up using gentle exercise to increase blood flow, as well as dynamic stretches which is basically taking the body through range so that you do get a stretch but not holding it at that point. In this video we check out a specific dynamic warm up for running so that you can stay active, fit and healthy for life.


Stretch Hip Flexors for Running Technique

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hi Guys!

When you are looking at your running technique it is really important to think about running upright. The best runners are more often than not the ones that have really good length through the front of their body. This allows you to start moving from slightly higher, lengthening your levers! Pretty much the same effect as stretching your legs by a couple of inches. This is easy to say but sometimes if you have tightness you will have difficulty actually doing it. This video looks at ways to optimise hip flexor length for optimal running technique for speed and endurance as well as keeping you injury free and on the track.

Understanding your shoulder pain!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Hey guys

I just received a great question about shoulder tightness and what you can do to address it. It is really important to start understanding how to tackle your shoulder to not only prevent injuries but also the tight areas leading in and out of your shoulder, so you can get the best outcomes for your body long term.

The shoulder is one of the nastiest joints to injure, in that it is so mobile and prone to overuse injuries. If you sit at a desk or are an athlete doing shoulder presses tightness can sneak up and cause rotator cuff tears, calcification in the shoulder tendons or even leave you wide open for tendonitis, labral tears, the list goes on. 

Check out this video that talks about how to start tackling some of the postural and mechanical issues that can lead to shoulder tightness and also decrease your strength and endurance over time. Check it out!

Warning: This blog is intended as a starting point for runners to understand their body and begin to address weaknesses and tension that can lead to injury. It does not constitute advice and is not a treatment tool. If you have any health condition or injury whatsoever, check with your personal health care practitioner before attempting any strategy listed. Use at your own risk and stop if you experience any pain or discomfort.