Started barefoot running and you have no clue what you should be doing to prepare yourself? Well, that’s where I am here to help. I will be showing you what stretches I have found to help me the most, before I go for a run. They only take about 10-15mins to do before you run and after. Including foam rollers, if you have one and massage balls. These stretches are also useful for all runners.
Read my previous post on The Art Of Barefoot Running
If you do have a foam roller and want to do the foam rolling exercises before running, make sure you do the foam rolling first, before static stretches. Post run, do static stretches first then foam rolling.
First of all, the most important aspect of barefoot running is strengthening your feet, calves and ankles. The more you run barefoot, the stronger they will get. However, it is always best to be doing little strengthening exercises at home also.
REMEMBER, YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO ALL OF THESE STRETCHES, DO WHAT SUITS YOU! ANYTHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING.
ALSO, THESE STRETCHES ARE WHAT WORK FOR ME, I AM NOT A QUALIFIED PT. ONLY DO WHAT YOU ARE CAPABLE OF DOING.
Very simple, if you have a foam roller, then get rolling on them glutes. Foam rolling helps activate muscle areas as it increases blood flow to that muscles, making them warm and raring to go!
- Position the foam roller horizontally behind you. Carefully sit on top of the foam roller and place both hands on the floor behind you.
- Lift and turn out your right leg so that your ankle is resting on your left leg just above your knee. Gently tilt your hips to the right to allow the foam roller to press into your right gluteal.
- Slowly roll the foam roller along the length of your gluteal. Once you reach a point of tenderness (called a trigger point), pause and hold that position for ~ 60 seconds or until the pressure/pain is significantly reduced. You can choose to perform small strokes over the point of tenderness if you would prefer.
- Start by lying flat on your back on a yoga mat. Bend your knees and position your feet firmly on the mat, ensuring that they are hip-width apart and your spine is in a neutral position. Allow your arms to rest by your sides on the mat. This is your starting position.
- Press your heels into the mat, activate your glutes and raise your pelvis off the floor until your body forms one straight line from chin to knee, resting on your shoulders.
- Lower your pelvis to return to the starting position.
- Repeat. (20reps for 2-3 sets)
- Stand on one foot and with the other foot, rotate it in a circular movement as though you are drawing circles.
- Do 10-15 rotations each way per foot.
KNEE OVER TOE:
- Get into a lunge position, with the rear knee touching the floor.
- Your front knee should be at a 90 degree angle, lean forward and push your front knee forward so it ends up being over your toes.
- Keep your heel of your front foot flat on the floor and go as far you can.
- You should feel a stretch and pressure in the Achilles and the front of the ankle.
- Hold for 30 secs then switch leg.
Once in position, try and get your chest as close to your thigh as possible and you should feel a real good stretch in your hamstring. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch legs. Repeat.
Just like the image above, keep your legs straight and try touch your toes. Once you have reached your limit, hold position for 30 seconds. Stand up and then repeat for a further 2 times.
Sitting on the floor, grab your foam roller or massage balls and place underneath calves and start rolling. When you feel a trigger point, hold for 30 seconds applying more pressure to get rid of the knot. Then switch legs and repeat.
Starting flat on your feet, go onto your tip toes so you can feel a stretch in your calves. Once on your tiptoes, hold for 2 seconds then go back down. Repeat twice.
Just like the image above, get into the same position to open up the hips. For an extra stretch push your hips forward and hold for 30 seconds per leg. Repeat 2 times.
Standing on one leg, pull the foot of the other leg to your glutes just like the image above. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch legs. Repeat twice.
If you have massage balls, whilst standing, place one underneath your foot and apply pressure onto the ball and roll around under your foot for about 30 seconds. Repeat on other foot. This helps release tension in your plantar fascia.
Using your foam roller, place under your quadricep and then turn to your side so the foam roller is underneath the side of your thigh. Roll up and down the whole side of your thigh for 45 seconds. If a trigger point is found, hold position for 15 seconds and then carry on. Repeat on other leg.
Standing up, rotate both arms in a circular shape, making as big a circle as you can. Do 10 rotations one way then 10 rotations the other way.
I hope you find use of this blog, if you have any requests or question, feel free to let me know! Hope you have a good day!