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The JOY of streching - some routines


Stretches can be done in any order - runners should not feel that they must follow the same order. The important thing is that you address several areas of your body each time you run. Here are the main stretches that we suggest and the method. We suggest that you "hold" each stretch for a count of 15, and add on doing each major stretch as least 2x.


Stretches for calves - the calves are your lower back leg muscles. The most common ones we recommend are:

a. "Toe up touch behind your heel" - this is self explanatory - you are propping your heel up and reaching down behind your leg with both hands until you feel a pull/stretch. Some people will be able to get down to their sneakers, others will only get to behind their legs - it matters not how low you can go - just so that you feel a stretch and you hold it.Switch legs.

b. On a curb, arch one of your legs back while the other one is flat on the curb until you feel a pull/stretch. Switch legs. 

c. "Pushing a wall/tree" - literally putting both hands on some NON-MOVABLE object and push with one leg in front of the other facing forward. Your back leg should be arched so that you are feeling more of a stretch in this leg. Switch legs.

d. "Butt up" - put both hands on the ground as if you were going into push-up mode and cross one leg over the over. Your butt will be higher in the air than push-ups. Arch one foot up until you feel a stretch. Switch legs.

e. Stretch & point - while you are pointing your toes back towards you holding your feet, sitting legs extended out in front of you, when you point your toes back to you, you will feel stretches in both your hamstrings and calves.

Stretches for Hamstrings - the muscles above your calves - back of big part of legs.

a. Partner Stretch - Lying down, extend your leg completely up and have your partner push your leg GENTLY back towards your head until you feel a stretch. If you are "shaking," chances are you are pushing/being pushed too far. Switch legs and also switch partners.

b. Stretch & point - sitting with legs extended in front of you, reach down and grab your toes, or as far down as you can, and point your toes back towards you. You will feel this pull in both your calves and hamstrings.

c. Prop up your leg on a STABLE surface a foot or two off of the ground (a chair, the back of your truck bed, a bench) and reach down behind your leg and grad until you feel a pull. Switch legs.

Stretches for QUADS - Quadricep muscles are the biggest muscle in your body. It is the front muscle of your upper leg.

a. Stand & hold - Standing, grab your foot and hold behind while your other arm is extended balancing yourself. Some people use the "balancing arm" to point to their nose, or hold on to a partner for balance.

Stretches for Hips/hip flexors -

a. Stand and cross one leg over the other - lean over into the side in which the front leg is directing. Switch legs.

b. While laying - cross one leg completely over the body and allow your body to follow that leg/hip. Switch sides.

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