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Static Stretching V/s Dynamic Stretching: A Runner’s Guide
Warm up or stretching before indulging in any aerobic or gymnastic activity is very common, precisely because it is a very helpful and effective injury-prevention habit. Those who follow this before their daily aerobic routine or those who don’t will surely find some useful information as they read ahead. However, doing the correct form of stretching is the key. Dynamic stretching is meant to be done before running, while static stretching is meant to be done after running or any aerobic activity. Let us delve in to the details to find out more.
What Does Dynamic Stretching Mean?
This is a form of stretching while in motion as opposed to the static stretching. It puts the key muscles through a full range of active motion. These stretches are a part of every runner’s comprehensive warm-up routine. Some of the examples are:
The Fluid Hamstring Stretch
Lean forward and stabilize your body with your fingers or hand against the ground and let one leg naturally rise. This stretch is felt in the hamstring of the balancing leg. Do not push too hard or lock your knees but make it a light and fluid stretch. Hold for a couple of seconds on each leg and repeat at least 8-10 times.
Walk Doing the Quad
The quad stretch requires for you to pull your heel up while either walking forward or standing still. Switch legs every few seconds, 8- 10 times for each leg.
Flex Your Hips
The Hip Flexor stretch requires you to hold one of your legs against your chest and waiting a few seconds before switching it with the other leg. Repeat 8-10 times for each leg while either walking forward or standing.
Do the Leg Swing
To perform this dynamic stretch, you need to find a fence or an object to stabilize your body as you place your hand on it. Once your body is balanced, gently swing the inside leg back and forth while holding out your arm. For a hip opener, face the wall and swing your legs side to side. Do this at least 8-10 times on each leg.
What Does Static Stretching Mean?
As the name suggests, Static stretching is stretching while holding still. Since the muscles are held still while static stretching, it becomes more useful after running rather than before it. Some of the examples are:
The Glute Stretch in Static Position
This stretching position helps you open your hips and stretch the glutes. It is often referred to as the pigeon pose as it requires for you to cross one leg in front of you and easily stretch your other leg straight behind you.
Do the High Lunge
As you get into the lunge position, instead of bringing your front foot toward your chest. Place it to the outside of your arm. This slight change is helpful for opening tightened hips, which is often the case with runners.
The All-Round Muscle Exercise
For good muscle exercise, do the static calf and hamstring stretch. Straighten one of your legs in front of you with the heel touching the ground, while resting your balance on the other knee and touch the ground with your fingertips.
So, now that you are aware of what was lacking in your warm-ups and post-run stretching, following these tips about stretches might help you with decreasing the risks of muscle pulls and injury while in action.