Stretching Tips for Runners

Intense activity like running does contract the muscles and make us feel tight. The stretching you do to counter that can only return a muscle to its normal relaxed length and generally you cannot stretch a muscle longer than this. What you can do is work on your alignment and stretching technique to achieve the final goal which is a longer leaner line to the body.When the bones are aligned optimally the muscles hug the bones the way they are meant to. This is what gives swimmers and dancers there graceful, powerful physiques.

There is a technique for moving and stretching that if followed carefully will correct alignment and create long lean muscles. For example, when stretching the hamstrings in a sitting position. As you stretch the heel away, lead from the heel and keep the knee soft. Let the knee lenghten soley from the action of the heel pressing outwards. Many people would straighten from the knee joint which blocks the energy and build tension (and bulky muscles) in the thigh and calf. Any stretch can be done this way: Keep the joints soft and move from the extremities. Moving from the extremities will unlock the bodys suppleness and create a long line.

When walking or running, lead from the heel keeping the hip flexor loose and rolling through the foot and pressing powerfully of the ball of the foot so the leg swings forward freely (again, loose hip flexor).

So the joints are kept soft in all moving and stretching thd the movement initiates with the extremities.