We’re kicking off Fitness Friday a little early around here this week. As you may know, I’ve been participating in Best Body Bootcamp AND I’ve been recovering from a shin splint. One of my goals when bootcamp started was to spend 10 minutes stretching every day. Confession- I am TERRIBLE about stretching. I think it’s boring and I skip over it more often than not.
However, I do know how important it is…which it why I thought it would be a good idea to make it a goal…so that I could get back in the habit. When I got my shin splint, I realized that not stretching my calves after all the running I was doing may have contributed to the shin splint.
So, the good news is I’ve gotten much better about it! But I figured that if I don’t always stretch, then some of you probably aren’t stretching either! So I recruited of my fellow Fitfluential Ambassadors to take over the blog today and share some basic stretches with you guys!
A little about Meghan and her business:
Hot Bird Running, founded by Meghan Reynolds and Jessica Green, promotes long-term wellness and a fitness focused approach to running and goal setting for all levels. USA Track and Field certified running coaches work closely with clients to provide one-on-one support, design and implement training programs, improve overall running performance and expand your running experience. We believe that running is fun and social as well as healthy.
I’ll leave the rest of the talking to them.
We all know how stretching is important and makes our muscles and bodies feel so much better after a run or a workout. We don’t always do it though, right? Many of us, athletes, runners and instructors included, do not stretch properly pre and post workout. This post is geared to give you tips and real life examples of how to properly stretch so that your body feels new and improved everyday!
There are two types of stretches – dynamic and static. We recommend you perform both on a regular basis, and in addition to your running and/or fitness program. Dynamic stretching is best performed at the beginning of a workout because it preps your muscles for power, which you need for a run or any type of fitness class. Static stretching is best for post workout because it allows your muscles to lengthen and rest.
We live in NYC which means very little space. Thus, we recommend to all of our clients that they stretch outside of their house. We purposefully give our clients exercises that require a bar for balance or a step. Thus, they are required to stop outside of their apt and stretch. You don’t need a mat or grass; all the stretches are done standing up and require very little space.
Run about 1 mile and then perform a few dynamic exercises: high knees, butt kicks, slide and glides, karaoke and leg swings. About 20 meters for each exercise.
Post workout: It’s best to stretch each muscle group for 30 seconds but we know you are busy so count to 10 for each side of the following exercises.
Shoulders/Arms: Bend your elbow behind your head and gently pull the elbow behind you. Repeat, on the other side.
Abdomen & Chest: Interlace your fingers behind your back and move your hands down and away from you to stretch the front of the body.
Hamstrings: Stand with feet together, bend your knees and slowly bend forward. Relax your neck. Slowly bend one leg and then the other to stretch each hamstring.
Hips: Hold onto a railing for balance and cross the left ankle over the right knee. Sit back like you were sitting in a chair to stretch the whole hip area. Repeat on the other side.
Hip Flexor: Step your left foot back and bend your right leg so your knee is directly over your ankle. Push back through your left heel to stretch your left hip flexor.
Quadriceps: Hold onto a railing for balance. Bend your left leg so your heel moves towards your glute. Grab the outside of the left foot with your left hand. Bring your knees into alignment, keeping the knee pointed straight down and back straight. Push your hip forward and bring your foot away from your body for more a quad stretch.
Calves: Stand on a step. Drop your left heel off the edge of the step to gently stretch through the calf.
That’s it! Nice and easy. No excuse to not stretch after each and every run. Need extra stretching but don’t have time? Bring a golf ball to work and 2-3x a day, slip your shoes off, stand up and roll your foot on the ball.
Check out our website for more runner specific information: hotbirdrunning.com Happy running!
Do you stretch before and after every workout?
What’s your favorite stretch?
Huge thanks to Meghan and Jessica for sharing their stretching words of wisdom with us! Hopefully this post has inspired those of you who previously skipped over stretching to spend a few minutes doing these simple stretches before and after your next workout!