Stretch Your Running Performance

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Pixmac000084095298Stretching is an important part of your running routine, yet many people skip over this step. Personally, it’s my favorite part of a run, my reward after a hard workout where I can breathe into my muscles and feel them lengthening and strengthening. Through proper breathing techniques I am able to connect with my body and really feel the areas I was working. This enables me to focus on those areas during my next run to make sure they are engaged and supporting me as I run.

Our expert contributor, Ellie Peterson, has shared with us her favorite leg stretch to use before a run. Learn how you can maximize your performance using the following stretching exercises:

The “I Can” Stretch

Stretching allows your muscles the opportunity to slowly contract and expand. When a vigorous cardio workout like running is performed, the leg and feet muscles are working hard. By stretching before and after a workout your muscles can enjoy the benefit of the extensions and contractions in a more controlled manner. This means that you need to feel the muscles you’re stretching and it’s best to stretch the muscles that will be predominantly worked. For example, prior to running stretch your front, back, inner and outer leg muscles.

My favorite stretch before running is the inner thigh stretch. Standing with your feet apart gently bend at your knee and move your body to that side. Feel the stretch in your straight leg’s inner thigh. Inhale. As you move your body to the other side and say the “I can” affirmation out loud. Complete your exhalation and hold the stretch. Repeat as needed.

Ellie Peterson, Inspirer, Ellie’s Meditative Movements

What is your favorite post-run stretch?

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