Five Dynamic Stretches to Prevent Running Injuries
Outdoor running is currently undergoing a bit of a resurgence. The rise of fitness trackers and apps, charity events, and casual park runs has brought a whole new audience to the sport.
However, as with any sport, the warm-up is one of, if not, the most important part of running. A dynamic warm-up routine can help you not only avoid injury but even perform better.
Research has shown that runners who undertook a dynamic warm up could actually run for longer compared to when they did not.
With that in mind, here are five stretches you should undertake before every run.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Stand up tall before bringing your knee up to your chest. As you do, swing your opposite arm forward. Similar to a running technique. Lower your leg to the ground, before switching legs.
Leg Flexor Stretch
Stand tall and bring your knee up to your chest. This time, straighten your leg out when your knee is at its highest point, bringing your thigh parallel to the ground. Again, swing your opposite arm forward as you bring your knee up. Reset and swap legs.
Leg Extensor Stretch
Commonly known as ‘butt-kicks’. Bring your foot behind you, keeping your thigh straight, bring your heel to your bottom. As you bring your right foot back, bring your left arm forward. Straighten your leg, then repeat on the other side.
Hip Extensor Stretch
Hinge forward at your hips, bringing your chest forward over your toes. Raise one foot and bend your right knee in front of you. Stay leaning forward as you stretch your leg back. Swing your opposite arm forwards as you would when running. Return your knee in front of you and repeat with the other leg.
Plantar Flexor Stretch
Standing tall with your hands on your hips, raise one foot a few inches, keeping your leg straight. Point your foot down, and then bring your toes up, pointing your foot up. Repeat this ten times then return to standing and repeat with the other foot.
Whilst beating records and keeping fit are the elements of running that keep us motivated, staying injury free is always the goal. Perform these five stretches before every run, and the chances of picking up a niggling injury will be minimised.
If you are unfortunate enough to pick up a slight injury the TENS machine can offer effective pain relief. However, if you think you may be injured, please seek professional medical advice.