By Charles Gallagher
The question that I am always asking is if I should stretch before or after my run. The answer to that question is that if you are flexible person you may need to stretch minimally say 2 to 3 times a week fro 10 to 20 minutes and during your warm-up and cool-down. If you are elastically challenged you will need to spend more time depending on your schedule.
The need for flexibility and suppleness cannot be over stated. It will help you in many was one of the most important is decreasing your chance of injury. You should start your stretching routine with some kind of gentle warm-up, walking or stationary biking or just very gentle stretching. Remember our speed work ?
Some key points to remember don’t bounce, don’t hold your breath, don’t stretch into pain, hold your stretches for 30 second or greater. And know the meaning of neutral pelvis. In the clinic all my patients go through this little exercise. Sit on the edge of a chair that won’t slip out from under you. Reach your hands under you glutes and gentle rock back and forth. The bones that you feel are your Ischial tuberosities or sitting bones. When you lean back the bones seem to point forward and when you lift your chest they seem to roll backwards. Now tilt forward as far as you can then backwards feeling the end range of both movements. Do this several times doing less and less until you are no longer moving this should be close to your neutral pelvis. The movement of lifting your chest up and sitting bones pointing backwards will be used a lot. Try changing the position of your pelvis at the very beginning of the stretch.