- Only stretch when you are warm, e.g. after your run or other form of cardiovascular exercise.
- Get in to the correct position and push until you feel tension in the muscle your are stretching. However, don’t try to increase flexibility too quickly by forcing yourself. Stretch no further than the muscles will go without pain.
- Hold the stretch for up to 40 seconds. Repeat each stretch 3 times, alternating sides.
- Breathe deeply and regularly while you are stretching. Try to keep your core stable at all time
AdductorsStand with you legs in a straddle position, with your feet facing forward. Bend one knee.
Now bring your arm up over the head and lean your upper body towards the bent knee. You should feel the stretching on the inner side of your thigh
GastrocnemiusStand tall with one leg in front of the other,with hands pressing against a wall at shoulder height.Ease your back leg further away from the front leg, keeping it straight (but not locked) and press the heel firmly into the floor. Keep your hips facing forward and the rear leg and spine in a straight line. You will feel the stretch in the calf of the rear leg.
Push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the calf.
GluteusLay flat on your back, legs straight. Now pull your right leg up and lay the out-side of the left ankle on the right knee.
Now, use both hands to pull your right knee up to your chest. You should feel the stretch in your buttocks
IliopsoasKneel on the left leg, the right extended in front.
Lunge forward, keeping your weight over your front leg. Push your hips forward until you feel the stretch in your groin. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Repeat with the other leg forward. Ensure you keep your torso straight throughout the exercise.
HamstringsStand with one foot just in front of the other. Bend the back knee keeping the front knee straight.
Now bend forward at the hips. You should feel the stretch along the posterior aspect of the upper leg.
QuadricepsStand tall (balance by holding a stationary object if required), fully flex your right knee, grabbing your ankle with the right hand, pull your rearfoot to your buttocks. Hold for 20-30 seconds then repeat with the other leg. Increase the stretch by pushing the hips forward whilst holding the stretch.
Stand on one leg. Bend your knee and pull your foot up behind you. Keeping the knee close to the body, gently pull your heel into your bottom until you feel tension in the front of your thigh.
SoleusStand tall with one leg in front of the other, with hands pressing against a wall at shoulder height. Ease your back leg further away from the front leg, keeping it straight (but not locked) and press the heel firmly into the floor. Keep your hips facing forward and the rear leg and spine in a straight line. You will feel the stretch in the calf of the rear leg.
Stand tall, one leg slightly in front of the other. Bend you back leg, keeping your heel on the floor until you feel the stretch in the Achilles tendon and soleus. Hold for 15-30 seconds then repeat with the other leg forward
Tensor fasciae lataeStand next to a wall with the foot furthest from the wall about 30cm in front of the other. Prop your self against a wall with your forearm so that you lean into the wall. Now bring the front leg towards the wall so that your legs are crossed.
Now, push your hips sideways towards the wall. If you do not feel this is stretching your thigh sufficiently then move your left leg further from the wall.
Strong, fatigue resistant, trained muscles will help protect against injury and optimise running efficiency, speed and technique. The following exercises are recommended specifically for you as they address areas of weakness. Ensure you follow these guidelines:
- Complete 3-4 sets of each dynamic exercise, with 15-25 repetitions in each set. Complete each static exercise 3-4 times, holding each position for 10-30 seconds. Ideally you should do strength training 3-4 times a week.
- Take care to perform each exercise correctly.
- Breathe deeply and regularly as you perform each exercise.
- Hold you head up.
- Always perform the exercises slowly and in a controlled manner.
- This is a program for healthy individuals. Please consult a medical professional if you have any doubts about your cardiovascular or physical health before starting training.
Triceps surae (calf muscle)Stand on the entire foot.
Go on up on to your tip-toes by tensing your calf musculature. Then relax and stand on your whole foot.
Thigh AbductorsLie down on your side with the leg nearest the floor slightly bent.
Lie on your side. Now raise the upper leg as far as is comfortably possible. Then gently lower the upper leg until it is resting on the lower leg again. Repeat the movement sequence.
Gluteus ExerciseLie on your back, with your knees bend to 90 degrees (as if you were going to do a sit-up).
Lift your pelvis up so that your shoulders pelvis and knees create a straight line. Hold this position.
PiriformisStand barefoot, externally rotate you leg so that your feet point out. You should feel the stretch on the medial aspect of your thigh.
Stand on your tiptoes, keeping your weight predominantly on the big toes. Now take small sideways steps, keeping on your tiptoes throughout.
Leg raisesLying on your side prop yourself up on your forearm.
Now lift the hips so that your shoulders, stomach, hips and legs form a straight line. Hold this position as long as you can
Tibialis anteriorStand with your weight on your heels.
Slowly lift your forefoot, keeping your heels on the ground. Hold this position for about five seconds then lower your forefoot. Then repeat the exercise.
Vastus medialisStand facing forward, legs shoulder width apart. Step forward and bend your left knee to about 40°, stretching your back leg behind you keeping your knee inline with the hip and foot.
Now flex and extend the knee of the front leg in a controlled manner. Do not let the knee collapse laterally – keep the knee flexing on an imaginary straight line from your hip to your foot