POST- EXERCISE STRETCHING

Back this week to discuss how to stretch when you have finished your run is Anne Finetto, Fitness Coordinator at Rutgers Recreation. She says “stretching is a very important component of any fitness or training program. It’s primary purpose is to return muscles to their resting length.” During exercise, muscle fibers are continuously contracting to allow you to move. Anne said “ If not stretched post-exercise, they will stay at the contracted length. Over time, this can result in tight muscles, muscles imbalances, and pain.” Furthermore inflexibility can eventually cause a loss in joint range of motion that will be more prevalent in older age.

So the good news is, stretching helps to maintain or increase range of motion, reduce post workout soreness, and helps to prevent injuries due to tight muscles or lack of flexibility.

Post-exercise stretching should last for at least 5- 10 minutes, holding each stretch for
20-30 seconds and completing each stretch 2 or 3 times.

Here are some great stretching excercises:

Quads
Stand tall, hold your foot to your butt and make sure you knees stay in line with each other.

Calves
Stand against a wall with you toe up against the wall and heel as close as possible. Lean forward. Keep your knee straight and hold. This stretches the gastrocnemius. Stay in the position but bend your knees. This stretches the soleus.

Hip Flexors (Lunge)
Exaggerate a forwards lunge and go down as deep as possible to feel the stretch in your groin. Do not allow you forward knee to go past your foot on the other leg.

Inner thighs (butterfly)
Start seated. Put feet together (Indian style) and hold your ankles with your hands and use your elbows to push your knees towards the floor.

Hamstrings
Lie down on your back. Keep left leg bent with foot on floor. Lift right leg by the calf and pull right leg towards head. Switch sides.

The excercises mentioned above are taught by Anne Finetto in her running classes. She also said “Stretching is crucial in order to enhance performance and prevent injury .

The most important time to stretch is at the end of your workout when your muscles are warm and flexible. Spend 5-10 minutes stretching at the END of each workout and warm up with Dynamic movements. “

Again, if you have any questions, want more information on
specific stretches, or have some new ones to teach us, just
tweet us @BRDSPORTS!

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