Stretching for those who run

We mean a series of exercises that favor both the muscle extension and the increase of the articular angles. The beneficial use of this medium has been verified by many authors who have affirmed its effectiveness in the prevention of injuries, in promoting recovery after a workout, in helping to loosen muscle tension and in making fluids more fluid by reducing the energy cost of the race.

The ways in which stretching is done is based on the effect of elongation in an active, passive or mixed way through the use of ballistic methods, the Bob Anderson method, the extension with the PNF and finally the Warton’s method.

The ballistic method consists in performing the muscular stretches in an active way, therefore by means of dynamic movements which have proved to be most damaging over time, as they increase the risk of injuries.

The Anderson method, on the other hand, is defined as static, since the stretching of the musculature is maintained for a total time of about 30-60 seconds. The musculature is initially elongated and the position maintained for a period of 30 seconds, after which the sensation of tension disappears and therefore the position is slightly modified so as to cause a new tension always lower than the pain threshold.

The initials PNF means proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, this method consists of initially performing an isometric contraction of the affected muscle, maintaining the tension for 6-7 seconds, then the muscle is released for 3-5 seconds and ready for the elongation phase which is maintained for about twenty seconds. The use of this type of stretching is not recommended at the end of training as it is very strenuously muscular.

The Warton’s method provides that the stretching takes place in an active manner in which each exercise is repeated for 10-15 times maintaining the stretching position for 1-2 seconds and then moving to the relaxation position of equal length of elongation. The peculiarity lies in isolating the single muscle, therefore focusing on the isometric contraction of the antagonist. However, this method has some limitations since it is very difficult to isolate all muscle groups. In fact, the perfect execution is found only on the large muscle masses, while it becomes difficult to apply for small muscle groups.

Good workout.

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