Even enthusiastic runners often don’t reach their full potential because they underestimate the benefits of additional training: increased performance, reduction of pain, prevention of injury and faster recovery. But I can promise, the small investment of time will be worth it!
Running is a great tool to reduce stress and it is fun as well. But: Repetitive movements during running increase the likelihood of overloading involved muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. The risk is even higher because many structures are weakened by our sedentary lifestyle. Both – overloaded and weakened tissues – will become short, tight and eventually lead to pain. On one hand, we can’t enjoy running with constant paint, on the other hand, joints, muscles, and ligaments will be overloaded even more, because pain changes our running style and leads to injury.
If you can avoid an injury-induced running break just by doing some easy exercises for 2 to 3 times weekly for 10 minutes, I believe, the investment is bearable.
How to start:
- Place: Choose a quiet place and bring an exercise- or yoga mat.
- Bare feet: The exercises are done bare feet preferably because shoes limit your range of motion
- Perfect timing: Doing these exercises after your run or after any other training. It’s important that your muscles and ligaments are properly warmed up.
- Take your time: Start slowly and hold each position for about 20 seconds. You should feel a stretch but no pain. Don’t forget to breathe. If you start to hold your breath, you should probably stretch less intense.
- Self-Observation: Go through the positions subsequently. You will realize quite fast, which exercises are easy for you. If some of the movements are more difficult, you will see the improvement in the next weeks. Be patient.
- Regularity is key: It’s not important to be perfect or especially flexible. It’s important to be persistent to support your running at its best. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments will become suppler and tightness will be reduced.
- Flow: After going through all positions once or twice (hold each position for about 20 seconds), you can try to flow through the sequence two to three times without any rush.
- Be Patient! Don’t be irritated if the “flow” is everything else than smooth in the beginning. It’s going to get better, each time you practice! Promised!
- Succinct: After you practiced the sequence a couple of times, you won’t need more than 10 minutes to go through the drill. Keep the movement pattern as described above: 2 to 3 times slowly, holding each position followed by 3 times or more of flowing through.
Below you find the exercises. You will recognize different positions throughout the flow because it’s created around these key positions to stretch the most important muscles we need to run.
- Tip: If you need some help for one or another position, choose a pillow, stool or block (available in different materials, mainly as yoga equipment) to be able to hold the positions without avoiding or cheating.
- Tip: If you realize a benefit from staying longer in some of these positions you can increase the duration to one or two minutes. Be sure to be able to breathe in a relaxed manner. Maybe it’s helpful to increase the time in one position step by step.
If you like to receive the FREE PDF file to follow the mobility drill wherever you are, just send an email to email@example.com. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
If you want to read more about running, here we go: