Building Flexibility

Training for your run is one of the best investments that you can make in both your safety and your performance and with training you need to consider all areas of the body so that overall, you are in optimum shape. One of the ways you can do this is to ensure that your core body strength is at its peak capacity. Many people believe that all core exercises involve lying down or stand completely still but there are other ways to build your core.

Runners with a stronger core have far better balance and control, thus expending less energy and minimizing possible injury. Core strength helps to lessen instability and thus protects your body from unnecessary impact resonance. As well, twisting of the spine and pelvis contribute to potential injuries that can be difficult to correct. Flexibility in the hips and back can provide you with the perfect foundation for maintaining optimal stability and in turn, improve performance.

Stretching is one of the best ways to extend your muscles to build flexibility. Focusing on different muscles sets will cover all body areas and lessen resistance which can be hazardous. Some of the following stretches will help you to create these conditions and ensure that you enjoy your training without injury.

Kneeling on a padded surface with one knee, plant your other foot firmly in front of you and pull back on your kneeling ankle towards your buttocks. Really stretch it out with a straight back and taut abs. Clench your buttocks and thrust your hips forward and hold it for a count of 20, increasing it as you become more flexible. Repeat this on the opposite leg and do about 10 reps per side.

Lay on a yoga mat with knees at a 45 degree angle and feet on the floor. With your back relaxed and working from your abdominal muscles, lift one leg off the floor and raise your hips, creating one straight line from your knee to your shoulder. Hold this for a count of 5, making sure you do not arch your back. Switch legs and do 10 reps per side.

Stand straight with your feet apart directly below your hips. Bring one knee up toward your chest as far as you can go with your spine straight. You’ll feel this primarily in your hip. Drop your leg and allow it to stride back stretching with a bent knee as you would in a warrior pose and distribute your weight equally on both feet. Tighten your buttocks and thrust the hip of your back leg forward. Hold this for a count of 10 and repeat on each side 10 times.

In a plank position with elbows supporting, form a straight line from your feet to your neck and relax your head. Use your elbows to slide your body backwards along the floor (make sure you are on a surface with sufficient slide) while maintaining the straight posture. Straighten your arms into a push up and hold. Return to the original position and repeat 5 times or more if possible.

If you practice these postures and stretches for half an hour each day, you will be able to strengthen your core and build your flexibility in such a way that increases your stabilization in all that you do. Not only will this improve your performance and minimize injury while you run but you will feel the benefits in other areas of your life as well.