What a great day yesterday at the Vancouver Sun Run! The weather was beautiful. The people were happy and having fun. All-in-all you couldn’t have asked for a better day. Buuuuut…I’d venture to guess that today is a different story for many people who took part. Tight sore muscles might be seriously messing with your warm and fuzzy vibes when trying to relive the fond memories of a 10 kilometer job well-done. What to do? Well, below are some stretches you can try out today and over the next few days to help speed your recovery.
Quadriceps Those quads took a pounding with each step on that unforgiving pavement. These muscles played a major role in supporting your body weight each time your foot landing down on the ground. Rewards these big muscles with a standing quad stretch.
Hamstrings Your hamstrings helped you up the hills on the way across the Burrard Street Bridge and Cambie Street Bridge. And if you were one of those people who pushed the last kilometer or two, then you definitely took these muscles to their limits. Why not treat them to a seated hamstring stretch today?
Gluteus Maximus Your glutes (aka butt) played a major role in keeping you upright and your posture balanced while you were running. They assisted the quads in supporting your body weight but they also helped out the hamstrings when powering uphill and toward the finish. These muscles will definitely need to be stretched.
Gastrocnemius and Soleus These two muscles, generally referred to as the calves, were some of the major muscles that propelled you forward with each step. You may have even noticed them cramping up a little by the end of the run. Take a few moments to stretch this twosome out so you’re not limping around the rest of the week.
Iliopsoas The iliopsoas or hip flexors are composed of two muscles: the iliacus and psoas major. Everytime you lifted your leg to take another step these two muscles were the ones primarily doing the job. Be sure you give these muscles the attention they deserve.
Tibialis Anterior Did you even know you have a muscle on your shin? This is news for most people. Just beside the bone of your shin is a muscle. When you pull your toes up to your shin in a movement called dorsi flexion this muscle goes to work. Just before your foot makes contact with the ground you dorsi flex your toes (forefoot runners, just calm down, you pull your toes up too with each step). That leads to these muscles being very sore the next day or two so be sure you give them some love.
All stretching should be done to the point of gentle tension, never stretch to the extreme point where you might strain or even tear a muscle. Inhale and exhale slowly and completely during the stretch, you’ll be surprised at how much deeper and more effective the stretch will become. Hold each stretch between 30-60 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. Stretching is best when your muscles are warm so try to perform some sort of light physical activity before your stretch to help increase blood flow and temperature. And of course, you can always come in to work with one of our personal trainers who can devote an entire session just to light warming up and full body stretching. In fact, our trainers can even assist you in each stretch using a technique called partner stretching.
Contact us today and ask about our special offer of 3 60min personal training sessions (includes a $25 credit towards our nutrition consulting service) for $99!