Most medical professionals would probably say that doing stretches before running will help avoid injury. However, forcing cold muscles into static stretches can do more harm than good, so mimicking normal movements with dynamic stretches is a better way to go.
Start with a 5 – 10 minute walk to get your blood flowing and your muscles warmed up. Then do a series of dynamic moves that work the major muscle groups. Here are a few to get you started:
- Walking lunges and gentle hip circles work the upper legs and hips.
- Side stretches with your arms overhead works your torso.
- Calf raises (stand on step, rise on tiptoe, then drop heels slightly below the step level) work your lower legs.
- Stork stretches (bend right leg up behind you, grab the outside of the ankle, and pull right foot toward your buttocks) can work your quads and your hips.
Remember not to overstretch, or you will defeat the purpose. For more info, call Abbott Foot & Ankle Clinic in Collingwood, ON at (705) 444-9929 and set up a time to discuss your running or foot problems with avid runner and Chiropodist Tony Abbott.