Cross country running competitions resume in the fall and winter months. The competition is fierce, for both males and females. These runners race on open-air courses. The courses usually range from two to eight miles and can consist of grass, gravel, dirt or any other natural terrain.
Long distance running, especially on uneven terrain, can cause aches and injuries. All that pounding and pounding can be enough to result in long term complications. A few of the most common injuries that runners experience include shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and IT band syndrome. If you have a sports injury of such sort, the following stretches can be helpful.
Stretches for Cross Country Running
Stretching prior to and after a run greatly reduces chances of injury. Our chiropractors at Chiropractic Clinic Houston highly recommend a commitment to stretching – particularly the following stretches listed below.
Prior to Running:
- Leg Swings: This is a great workout to start out with. Leg swings help loosen up your hips, so you feel nimble and ready to hit the track. First, hold on to a sturdy object. It can even be a friend. Next, stand on one leg and swing the other back and forth twenty times. Then switch legs and repeat. Your swing should get bigger until you reach your full range of motion.
- Walking Lunches: Many think that lunges should not be performed prior to a workout. This is totally incorrect. Don’t listen to them. These warm up your quadriceps and hamstrings. Take a large step forward with your right leg and bend your knee until your right thigh is parallel with the ground and your knee is directly inline with your ankle. Push back up and draw your left foot even with your right. Then step forward with your left and repeat the steps. Focus on proper form and do ten lunges per leg.
- Hip Flexor and Hamstring Stretch: After running, a great deal of people have to cool down so as to prevent injuries. First, kneel down on one knee with the right leg bent at 90 degrees with your right foot planted on the ground in front of you. Make sure your knee and ankle are aligned. Keeping your back straight, press forward into your right hip while keeping your knee pressed into the ground. Hold for 20 seconds and then switch to the other leg.
- Standing Calf Stretch: Great workout. One that everybody in absolutely every single sport should perform. Start facing a wall with your hands on the wall at chest level. Next, place the ball of your foot against the wall with your heel still touching the floor. Then gently lean into the wall until you feel the stretch in your calf while keeping your leg straight. Hold for 20 seconds and then switch to the other leg.
Recovery From a Sports Injury
A foam roller is one of the most useful tools for recovery. For runners especially, it is important to roll your calves, IT band, hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes. Using a foam roller helps relieve soreness and releases any built up adhesions on the fascia that can cause irritation and tightness.