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Saturday Morning Drill: Stretches for Runners

Stretching: Possibly the secret weapon for any successful athlete, especially runners. The trick is knowing when to stretch and how to stretch. It’s also important to know some stretches are better for runners than others, and even if you have just a little bit of time you can make a big difference in your performance with a few specific moves. 

Hanna Rosov, ACSM, HFS, and owner of Zeal Fitness in Wichita, Kansas, works with many runners and lent some insight on proper stretching routines for those who run often. “There are a couple different kinds of stretching that are appropriate at different times,” said Rosov. “Dynamic stretching works best as a warm up prior to running. It tells the muscles ‘get ready we’re going to do something.’”

Dynamic stretching looks different than traditional floor moves, as they’re typically active movements that can be safely done before a workout or run without expending too much energy. “Dynamic stretching doesn’t use a lot of energy; you are putting your muscles through a range of motion while gradually increasing heart rate,” said Rosov.
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The 5 Minute Bathroom Break Workout

The bathroom is not at the top of the list when you think of places to exercise. In fact, it’s probably not on the
 list at all. But maybe it’s time for that to change.

We all visit the bathroom, and a fast workout while
 you’re in “the loo” can be the perfect way to break up your day. We’ve come up with a list of five simple moves you can do in the bathroom to fit in a quick workout and boost your energy. Pick one or all and get moving during your next bathroom break, even if for just 5 minutes. This, of course, will work best if you’re in a private bathroom, that is, unless you want to lead a class of bathroom exercisers with your coworkers!
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Commuter Yoga: 3 Poses That Make the Drive to Work More Bearable

Getting stuck in traffic is enough to turn your hair grey. Blood pressure rises, muscles tense, and a positive attitude plummets when your car is at a standstill. Thankfully, there are things you can do to make the experience more pleasurable, and gain some health benefits while in the process.

The following are three easy yoga inspired exercises you can do the next time you find yourself wedged bumper to bumper.

Axial Extensions

Scoot your hips back so that your spine is upright against the seat of your car. Lift the crown of your head toward the sky as you inhale deeply, and press your hips down into the seat as you exhale fully. By doing this, you are creating space and decompression between each vertebra. As a result, you will gain energy, not to mention have to readjust your rear view mirror to take on your new height.
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Saturday Morning Drill: 15-Minute Energy Booster

New Year’s Day is almost here and we have the perfect workout for you. This 15-minute routine will boost your energy and your spirits this weekend in preparation for any big celebrations you might have in the coming week. Not only that, it’s a great workout to have in your back pocket for the New Year when you’re in need of a quick energy boost to get you through the day.

This Saturday Morning Drill is comprised of eight exercises: Six that will elevate your heart rate and tone your whole body, and two that will stretch your body and relax your mind. Let’s get started!

View Saturday Morning Drill: Energy Booster Slideshow



Saturday Morning Drill: Post-Workout Stretching

For this week’s Saturday Morning Drill we’re stressing the importance of stretching. While it’s important to warm up before a workout, many people don’t realize you should actually save the stretching for after the workout.

Stretching is not recommended before a workout because your muscles are prone to injury when they’re cold, which temporarily slows muscle activation. In order to warm up the muscles sufficiently perform at least three to five minutes of cardiovascular activity such as running in place or jumping jacks. Then, stretch after your workout is complete.

Even for those who take the time to stretch after a workout, it’s not uncommon to rush through the movements and thus forgo reaping the full benefits of the stretch. But proper stretching should be completed after a workout because muscles tighten and shorten during exercise. By stretching them afterwards you help the muscle both length and restore. Other stretching benefits include increased flexibility, improved circulation, improved balance and coordination, decreased lower back pain and increased energy levels.

A proper stretch should be completed one to three times, holding each stretch for 10-60 seconds. Remember, you should be in control of the stretch by focusing on performing it slowly. Listen to your body – each movement should be held at a mild tension but not to the point of pain.

To get your heart rate up, try our fall Pumpkin Workout. Start by warming up with some cardio, performing the strength training exercises, and end with these beneficial stretches. 

Also Read:

7 Tips for Eliminating Muscle Soreness

Sneaky Ways to Squeeze in Stretching

Stretching is Essential for Runners