Marathon stretching is key to keeping yourself free from running injuries. The best stretching advice I can give you is Ė do it and do it often. There are many stretching how-to articles that illustrate various techniques and I encourage you to take a look at these.
Injury Prevention Essentials
Of course, there are certain stretches youíll use for different muscle groups. Your hamstring, kneecaps, quadriceps, calves, ankles and feet are your most used parts of your body. But donít forget the strain running puts on your hips, lower and upper back, which can lead to a very sore lower and upper body.
Donít forget that your arms are swinging back and forth the whole time so targeting your shoulders will be key as well. Here are the
best running stretches.
Benefits of Stretching
- Injury prevention
- Reduce muscle soreness and fatigue
- Lower your risk of cramping, aches and pains
- Increase overall movement, speed and form (just like a car, you need proper maintenance to be at your best)
- Releases tension from your muscles, helping you to relax
Donít do it. Many experts agree that stretching before exercising or when your muscles are cold does not help you or help prevent injuries. The best advice I can give you is to do a five to 10-minute pre-exercise warm up to get your blood flowing before jumping into your training for the day. This helps get your muscles warmed up and ready for the day.
Best Time to Stretch
After your run, marathon stretching is essential! I incorporated several marathon-stretching techniques into my post-run training routine. It is widely accepted that static stretching (or stretch and hold) prevents muscles from shortening up post-exercise. This is great for keeping and increasing your range of motion, stretching and muscle pliability. In other words, it helps prevent injuries and helps start you fresh for your next training day.
Common Causes for Stretching Injuries
While stretching is important, it should definitely be taken serious or the act of it can cause injuries. So Iím up a creek if I do or donít? No. Just make sure to keep the following in mind:
- Donít stretch cold muscles
- Stretch after your run or cross-training workout
- On off days, warm up your muscles/joints five to 10 minutes before stretching
- Donít pulse or bounce
- Stretching should hurt
- Hold your stretch for about 10 seconds
- Donít skip your stretches; if you do, you could cause injury
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