Game Changers: The Conscious Culture Men With Vision 2020 Edition | Page 38

GAMECHANGERFITNESS SIX STRETCHES TO DO BEFORE RUNNING Walking Lunges Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your hands can stay by the side of your body or on your hips. Step forward with your right leg, putting the weight into your heel. Bend the right knee, lowering down so that it’s parallel to the floor in a lunge position. Pause for a beat. Without moving the right leg, move your left foot forward, repeating the same movement on the left leg. Pause as your left leg is parallel to the floor in a lunge position. Repeat this movement, “walking” forward as you lunge, alternating legs. Do 10 to 12 reps on each leg. Perform 2 to 3 sets. TO STRETCH OR NOT TO STRETCH Curated by Lydia Pierre Whether you’re jogging on trails or on the road or trotting along on the treadmill, running is physically demanding on your body. The repetitive motion of moving your body forward requires strength and coordination. Each step you take requires your quads, hamstrings, calves and hips to extend and flex repeatedly, which, over time, causes tightness and imbalances, paving the way for overuse injuries. Skipping pre-run stretches or warm-up sessions is a recipe for a workout injury. Running with muscles that aren't properly prepped can result in a muscle strain that keeps you off your feet — and off the road or trail — for days, weeks or even months. That’s why safely stretching these muscles before and after each run is necessary. Experts agree that you should avoid static stretches before your workout because cold muscles are tight muscles and you’re likely to cause a strain or worse. Pre-run stretches should consist of dynamic stretching, which involves light movement through an increasing range of motion. Focus on the major muscle groups you’ll be using — quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and calves. Perform these six moves before you pound the pavement to warm up joints and muscles and to help prevent injury. GAME CHANGERS MAGAZINE | 38 Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch If you sit at a desk all day, you probably have tight hip flexors, since they're constantly in a state of flexion. This makes this pre-run stretch extra important before you work out. Start in a lunge with your front knee at 90 degrees. Begin to straighten your back leg, so you feel a stretch along the front of your back thigh. Keep your front knee aligned over your toes. Raise your arms over your head and hold for a few seconds, and then release. Continue in a dynamic motion, shifting forward as you raise your arms up, and then lowering your arms as you come back to the starting position. Repeat five times on each side. Side Stretch Side stitches are a common complaint among runners, but fitness expert Stew Smith, CSCS, says you can help prevent them by doing this torso stretch before running. You can perform this from a standing position (pictured above), or as Schultz recommends, you can add a side stretch to the hip flexor stretch from the previous stretch. Bring your arms over your head. Keeping your abdominals tight, lean to the right, bending at the waist. Hold for a few seconds, and then lean to the left.  Do this movement dynamically, holding for one or two breaths on each side before switching. Continue reading at next page >