I played college football, but didn’t do this. It was only after I finished my physical therapy degree that I started to do this – daily stretching. Every day, with few exceptions, I stretch my neck, spine and extremities. Studies show that stretching consistently significantly lessens the risk of injuries, especially of the spine, shoulders, hips and knees.
it’s easy to get injured; anyone can do it. Just run too much. “I firmly believe that every runner has an injury threshold,” says physical therapist and biomechanist Irene Davis, Ph.D., from the University of Delaware’s Running Injury Clinic, read about the iwalk crutches from for injured knees. “Your threshold could be at 10 miles a week, or 100, but once you exceed it, you get injured.” Various studies have identified injury-thresholds at 11, 25, and 40 miles per week. Your threshold is waiting for you to discover it.
Of course, your goal is to avoid injury. Runner and sports podiatrist Stephen Pribut, D.P.M., warns runners to beware the “terrible toos”—doing too much, too soon, too fast. Every research paper and every expert agrees that this—”training errors”—is the number one cause of self-inflicted running injuries. The body needs time to adapt from training changes and jumps in mileage or intensity. Muscles and joints need recovery time so they can recover and handle more training demands. If you rush that process, you could break down rather than build up.
Here is my routine:
- Stretch AFTER every workout, yes after
- Do these 5 lower extremity stretches
- Do these neck and low back stretches
What about shoulders? Unless your a major league pitcher, you don’t need to do much more than reach to the sky daily, as in a sun salutation.