Best Chiropractic Stretches for Runners
Running is an efficient way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. With rising summer temperatures, going for a run is a great excuse to spend time outside, breathe some fresh air, and get your blood pumping. It’s essential to properly care for your body before and after completing your run with Chiropractic-approved stretches. Our team at Get Adjusted Chiropractic believes that runners can benefit from Chiropractic care, both in the short and long term. Dr. Justin Lewis has compiled some stretches and running tips to integrate these Chiropractic stretches into your exercise plan.
For Your Warm-Up
A productive warm-up allows for the active stretching of your muscles. Runners will want to “wake up” these muscles prevent any pulling and tearing, or other serious injuries. This warm-up will use movement to stretch these muscles and safely prepare them for your run. Dr. Justin Lewis recommends repeating each of these for 1-2 minutes before your run starts!
Knee to Chest (instructions):
Take a step forward and lift your opposite leg, while bending at the knee. Grab your knee with both hands and hug your leg towards your torso, stretching the lower back and hip muscles.
Heel to Buttock (instructions):
Step forward and bend your leg backward at the knee. Grab your foot and pull it in towards your buttock. This movement stretches the quad muscle, incredibly important to your running performance.
Side Lunge Walk (instructions):
Swing one leg out to the side and ground yourself in an open-legged stance. Lunge on that one side to lower yourself down, while keeping your other leg straight. Stand up entirely and swing the leg that was previously straight to the side, repeating the lunge on this opposite leg. This stretch will work your hamstrings, adductors, and gluteal muscles, as well as tightening your core and improving balance. These muscles help prevent damage to your hip flexors and leg muscles.
Twisting Lunge (instructions):
Take a sizable step forward on one leg and lower your body into a front lunge. While in the lunge, put your hands behind your ears with your elbows wide and twist your torso to one side. You can also hold weights or a medicine ball and twist both arms to the side along with your torso. Straight up and repeat on the opposite leg.
Hamstring Kicks (instructions):
To stretch your hamstring, step forward and kick one leg out straight in front of you to about hip-height. When you reach your hip, take your opposite arm and tap your toes. Lower your leg and repeat on the opposite side. If you’d prefer, you can kick your leg to rest on a surface at hip height and reach forward to touch your toes to elongate the stretch.
For Your Cool-Down
It’s vital to incorporate static stretching into your cool-down routine to ward off injury and keep your body ready for future workouts. For runners, in particular, stretching will help decrease soreness, aid in recovery, and help prevent significant injury. Dr. Justin Lewis suggests performing these cool-down stretches for at least 30 seconds, repeating each stretch three times.
Hamstring Stretch (instructions):
To help with your leg and lower back health, sit down on the ground with your legs straight in front of you. Loop an exercise band around the ball of your feet and lay down. Use your arms to pull your leg up, perpendicular to the ground. Keep your leg straight and feel the stretch in your hamstring! Repeat on your opposite leg.
Quad Stretch (instructions):
Kneel on the ground with your feet tucked under behind you. Loop your exercise band around your right foot. Once secured, lay down flat on your stomach on the ground. Pull the exercise band gently and reach it over to your left shoulder. Bring your heel to your buttocks to stretch your quad muscle! Repeat on your left foot and leg.
Hip Flexor Stretch (instructions):
The Hip Flexor is a muscle in the lower abdomen and hip area incredibly important for running! To stretch this, kneel down on a blanket or pillow on the ground. Bring one leg forward, into a 90-degree lunge in front of you. Your back foot should be tucked under and actively squeeze your buttock muscles. Rotate your pelvis is so that it is also tucked underneath. This action alone will stretch the Hip Flexor! Calf Stretch (instructions):
Get into a running position in front of a wall, as if you are about to start a race. Stretch your arms out straight to touch the wall. Slightly bend your front knee and dig the heel of your back leg to straighten it. Once you feel a stretch in that back leg, bend this back knee slightly to also stretch the muscles at the back of your ankle.
Piriformis Stretch (instructions):
Your Piriformis muscle is one of your most-used hip rotator muscles while running. To stretch this, lay down on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Take your right leg and cross it over your left, so that your right ankle is resting on your left knee. Put one hand on the inside thigh and one hand on the outside of the left leg. Lift your left foot off the ground and hug both legs towards your chest.
Prevent long term pain with Get Adjusted Chiropractic! Book an appointment online today or call our office at 845-809-8300 to schedule a visit with Dr. Justin Lewis.