The Elements of Running Part 3B: Integrating Flexibility Into Your Running Routine | Element Physio

Muscle flexibility is a key component of injury-free running.  Mobility restrictions inhibit proper motion at a joint, which can cause excessive motion at another in order to make up for the deficit.

In the blog today we are focusing on a few of the many flexibility exercises that zero-in on the muscle groups involved in an optimal running stride.  Flexibility can be achieved through a dynamic warm-up, sustained stretching, or tissue massage.

1. Dynamic Warm-Up

A dynamic warm-up prepares the body for an activity by increasing blood flow to tissues, elevating tissue temperature, and maximizing range of motion. Click here for a demonstration of a dynamic warm-up

2. Sustained Stretching

Sustained stretching of specific muscle groups is typically done after an activity in the cool-down phase.  Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds each for 3 repetitions.

3. Tissue Massage

Tissue massage can aid in the flexibility of areas that are more difficult to target with stretching.  Massage each area for about 1 minute until you start to feel the tenderness subside.

Before introducing any new exercise routine it is important to keep in touch with a health care professional to address your unique health concerns.  Every running injury will present slightly different from the next, and the same philosophy applies to how it should be treated.  If you find yourself faced with a painful stride, it is best to be evaluated by a physiotherapist to determine your particular needs and unlock your true physical potential.