A Mobility Routine pre and post run can involve various options which can include:
- Foam Rolling
- Lacrosse Ball Rolling
- Static Stretching
- Dynamic Stretching
Each of these have their place in your mobility routine and each should be used at the proper time.
Foam Rolling is best used pre and post run. The process of “rolling” involves lying a certain section of your body or limb on top of the roller. Your body weight then creates pressure downward, compressing the soft tissue/muscle between the more firm and boney parts of your body and the foam roller. By having a surface that rolls, you can move up and down that region of your body, somewhat similar to a sweeping deep massage. You can become your own make-shift masseuse! Rolling all the muscles involved with running listed in this book, is a great way to address any muscular and fascial tightness that may cause an imbalance and injury once your run is underway.
LACROSSE BALL ROLLING
Lacrosse ball rolling is just another method of rolling but much more specific and harder on the trigger points within these muscles. Go easy on this as too much pain will cause your body to consider your rolling a threat, and you may find your muscles and nervous system are ultimately tighter and not as accepting to further stretching.
Static stretching can be a great way to stretch your postural muscles of the upper back, chest, and leg muscles, to create more length needed for proper running form and the elasticity needed for the bounding occurring during running. “Static” stretching means holding the stretch for 30 seconds or more, then repeating 3 to 5 times on each body region. Static stretching is best used after a run when you are warmed up.
Dynamic stretching is more rhythmic, with quicker more fluid movement, and is best used before a run. Marching, Butt-Kicks, Frankenstein Leg Lifts, Hip-Openers, and Limited Range Lunging are all some examples of Dynamic Stretching. These can help prime the body for movement without creating strain.
In order to maintain your optimum head, trunk, shoulders, and arm positioning you need to have the endurance to stay in this position. The ability to run farther and longer in this proper form requires even more muscular strength and endurance. Lastly, the ability to be powerful and fast for short distances requires an advanced level of strengthening. You can work on your endurance, strength, and power at a gym or home gym.
To properly strengthen and maintain the muscles most used for running, reflect back on the primary muscles involved with running.
When designing a strength program, you need to add the following types of strength and stability exercises:
- Upper Back/Posterior Shoulder Exercises to Focus on Postural Muscles
- Hamstring and Quad Strengthening
- Abdominal/Core Exercises
- Glute Strengthening
- Balance Training
- Plyometric/Jumping Practice *must be properly aligned
After you run, you need to tend to the tightness and inflammation you created by applying and performing the following recommendations. The longer you run, the more you will want to do more of these methods directly after a run. And, repeating them later in the day, and in the days that follow your long runs, is very important for your best recovery.
Recovery Tips Include:
- Walk it out after a run…don’t just stop short and sit-down. Allow your body time to cool down and stay loose vs. sitting and shortening all those leg muscles while your body temp cools down.
- Foam Roll…give yourself a post-run massage, rolling across the muscles and fascia can help these areas loosen following a run and address any tighter than normal spots with more specific rolling to the trigger points as you find them.
- Static Stretching…you are warmed up and therefore your body is in a ready state to accept elongation of your muscles and fascia.
- Ice particularly sore regions or take an Ice or Tap Water Cold Bath…. applying ice or cold water creates a vasoconstriction, inhibiting swelling of the region, which can make you uncomfortable later, tighter feeling in that region, and ultimately interfere with your body’s natural ability to repair strained muscles.
- Drink Plenty of Water…as you ran, whether it is cold or hot out, your body is sweating. You need to replace this water. Water is essential to the proper health of our body. Optimum hydration can also reduce excessive muscle soreness.
- Apply Compression…A neoprene sleeve for the knee, compression socks, and ace bandaging sore regions while icing can also help squeeze out stagnate swelling that could make you feel sore and injured.
If you are interested in learning more about optimizing your running performance and reducing the risk of injury witih running, then reach out to BodyFit Physical Therapy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Cindy at 860-507-7365 to schedule a FREE Discovery Visit-A Consultation with a Physical Therapist.