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Stretch! These are great stretches for 'Runner's Knee', something I have been plagued by.
INJURY PREVENTION 101 STRETCHING: Always, always, always do this after a run! QUAD STRETCH 1: Stand on one foot (use a piece of furniture to balance if needed). Grab the other ankle/foot and bring your heel up towards the glutes. Pull until you feel a stretch. Be sure to keep your back straight and avoid bending forward. QUAD STRETCH 2: Position yourself upright on your knees. Slowly lean back, with your body erect and arms to the side. Hold for 15 seconds. SEATED HAMSTRING STRETCH: Sit with both legs straight in front of you. Reach out in front of you and grab your ankles/toes (as far as you can reach) and hold for 15-20 seconds. GROIN STRETCH: While seated, put the soles of your feet together. With your elbows on the inside of your knees, gradually lean forward, and gently press your knees towards the ground using your elbows. IT BAND STRETCH 1: Sit with both legs straight in front of you. Bend one knee and bring your thigh as close to your chest as possible. Cross the foot of your bent knee over the thigh of your straight leg and place your foot on the ground. Hug your knee to your chest and twist your mid-section in the direction of the bent knee. IT BAND STRETCH 2: While standing, cross your right leg in front of your left leg. Lean your hip towards the right and hold for 30-60 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. CALF STRETCH: Face a stationary object (wall, tree, etc.) and place your hand on the object below shoulder level. Step back with one foot, keeping the knee straight. Bend the other knee forward and push against the object until you feel a stretch. Hold for 60 seconds, switch legs, and repeat. LOW BACK/QUAD STRETCH: Lie on your back and with your feet flat on the ground, lift your hips up until your body forms a flat plane. Repeat 10 times for 30 second intervals. CRYOTHERAPY: Click here to read about the benefits of an ice bath. FOAM ROLLING: Using a foam roller can provide similar benefits as deep-tissue massage. By increasing flexibility and decreasing muscle tension, it can help prevent injury and improve performance. Make the following foam-roller exercises part of your regular running routine: run, roll, and then stretch. Place your body on the roller and slowly roll up and down (for about 10-15 seconds) along the muscle group you are targeting. If you find a particularly tight area, pause on that spot. Putting pressure on a tight area can help release the tissue. Click here to read the rest of the article. STRETCH FOR FITNESS