Why stretching is important for runners
Do you often get sore after exercising? Do your muscles feel taut and painful? If so, you’re not alone. Many runners find their muscles going tight after their daily workout. This is because some don’t incorporate stretching into their routine.
It’s a common belief that stretching only improves flexibility, but that’s not all. It also decreases your risk of injury and promotes blood flow to your muscles so that you don’t get cramps and stiff muscles. This is why athletes must include stretching in their daily activities, and this is equally true for runners; the benefits of stretching are too significant to ignore. To know more about why stretching is essential for runners, keep reading.
1. Prevents Injury
Stretching before running reduces the risk of injury. This is because when you stretch, your muscles expand and enhance your flexibility. As a result, you won’t suffer from injuries that correspond to taut muscles because now you have more room to twist and turn yourself. Your blood flow also increases, so your muscles will get enough oxygen and won’t become sore after your routine exercise. Stretching also decompresses your spine and joints, which helps relieve pain related to these areas.
2. Increases Range of Motion
Repetitive athletic movements can cause tension to develop in your body. Through stretching, you decompress your joints. This ultimately increases your range of motion. You will feel that your performance also improves drastically. Runners require larger strides for better productivity, and stretching before the run will enable you to move with longer strides.
3. Improve Posture
A bad posture affects a running stride. One of the reasons why you experience back pain is because you don’t stretch. This affects your posture, and you might experience difficulty running. Stretching manipulates your joints and muscles, decompressing them and improving posture affecting your running pose as well. You will also experience relief in back and joint pain.
4. Impacts Mental Flexibility
Stress affects your flexibility as well. It tightens muscles and causes them to become taut. When you stretch, your body releases endorphins. These hormones reduce pain, and you feel positively good. This can help you decrease stress levels before a run so that they don’t hinder you and you perform your best.
5. Decreases Post-Run Aches
Stretching after a run will loosen your muscles so that you don’t suffer from cramps. It also decreases the risk of any ligament tear many people suffer from. So, runners need to stretch before and after a run. There are different types of stretches, such as active stretching, dynamic stretching, and proprioceptive stretching, to name a few, so be sure to follow a guideline and go for the ones that suit you the most.
Incorporating stretches into your daily routine will help improve circulation and flexibility and increase your range of motion. It is especially beneficial for athletes. Stretching is a prerequisite for workouts or sports. It is a meditative and beneficial exercise that increases flexibility and range of motion and decreases the risk of injury. If you do suffer from a fall or any damage, stretching will help you recover faster by enhancing blood flow and alleviating soreness and tautness.
However, stretching without any research and guidance can negatively impact you and cause an injury. You need to know the types of stretches and what proportions you should do them. Be careful and do not overexert yourself.
posted Monday September 19th
by Colorado Runner