Help      805-460-0228   email 

Bands & Tubing Band Accessories Stretch Strap/Handle Exercise Balls Worksite Fitness Shop Departments FAQs/Articles

 

Sample Running Exercises & Stretches from the Runner's FitKit  manual

EXERCISES
Knee Lift
Leg Extension

Foot Pull Back

Trunk Rotation

STRETCHES
Straight-leg Calf Stretch

Hamstring Stretch

Hip Abductor Stretch

Quadriceps Stretch

KNEE LIFT (Hip Flexion)

Muscles Strengthened: hip flexors (iliopsoas, rectus femoris) 

Importance to Runners: The hip flexors are the primary propulsive force in distance running, creating the powerful forward knee drive. Increasing strength in these muscles is one of the best ways to increase speed. 

Ankle Cuff: D-ring on back of ankle  Door Attachment: ankle height 

  

Start: Stand in a split stance facing away from the door with ankle cuff on ankle of back leg. Position ankle directly in front of the attachment site with tension on the tubing.

Finish: Lift knee until thigh is approximately parallel to floor. Return to start position. Complete set, then perform on opposite leg. back to top

 

LEG EXTENSION (Knee Extension with extended hip)

Muscles Strengthened: front of thigh (quadriceps)

Importance to Runners: This exercise targets the specific quadriceps muscles that are thought to help with tracking of the kneecap, thereby reducing the chance of knee problems. 

Ankle Cuff: D-ring on back of ankle  Door Attachment: waist height 

  

Start: Stand facing away from door with ankle cuff on ankle of back leg. Knee is bent and is behind hip. Door attachment, ankle and knee are in alignment. Lightly place hand on chair if needed for balance. 

Finish: Without letting thigh move, straighten knee, so that the exercising foot is behind the standing foot. Complete set, then perform on opposite leg. back to top

 

FOOT PULL BACK (Dorsiflexion)

Muscle Strengthened: shin (anterior tibialis )

Importance to Runners: The anterior tibialis has the highest sustained level of activity of any muscle during running. To avoid fatigue-related shin injuries, it needs to be trained for both strength and endurance. An important part of this exercise is actively stretching the calf muscle by pulling the foot back as far as comfortably possible. A weak shin and a tight calf are risk factors for shin injuries. 

Ankle Cuff: on foot with D-ring on bottom of foot  Door Attachment: ankle height 

  

Start: Place ankle cuff around upper part of right shoe with right leg on a cushion to elevate foot so heel clears the floor. Toes are pointed toward the door and are directly in front of attachment site with tension on the tubing.

Finish: Pull foot toward shin as far back as is comfortable. Return to start position. Complete set, then perform on opposite leg. back to top 

 

TRUNK ROTATION

Muscles Strengthened: sides of abdomen (internal and external obliques)

Importance to Runners: These muscles stabilize the trunk during running by counteracting the rotational forces of the hips and shoulders. Increasing strength in these muscles increases running economy and also helps protect the low back from injury. To perform this exercise correctly, the hips must remain relatively stationary. Since this is hard to do standing, this exercise is performed sitting.

Handle.  Door Attachment: waist height when sitting 

  

Start: Sit parallel to door with left side facing door. Hold handle in both hands, waist level with elbows braced against body. Torso is rotated to the left. 

Finish: Keeping hips and knees facing forward and wrists rigid, rotate torso to the right. Complete set, then turn 180° (right side facing door) and repeat. back to top

 

STRAIGHT-LEG CALF STRETCH

Muscles Stretched: gastrocnemius, soleus

Importance to Runners: This stretch helps reduce injuries to the knee, shin, and Achilles tendon.

Strap: under ball of one foot  Body: sitting with target leg straight 

Static Stretch 
Pull foot toward shin to point of mild tension in the calf and hold 30 seconds. 

Active Isolated Stretch
1. Contract shin muscles to pull foot toward shin and hold 2 seconds. 
2. Return to start position and repeat 10 times. 

Facilitated Stretch
1. Contract shin muscles to pull foot toward shin and hold 6-10 seconds.
2. Try to push foot forward, away from shin, using strap as resistance (foot doesn't move-contract calf isometrically). Hold 6-10 seconds.
3. Return to start position and repeat #1. back to top

 

HAMSTRING STRETCH

Muscles Stretched: hamstrings

Importance to Runners: Shortened hamstrings, which are common in runners, can contribute to low back and knee pain. 

Strap: under arch of foot  Body: lying on back with target leg straight on the floor and opposite knee bent 

Static Stretch 
Keeping knee straight, pull leg toward chest, to point of mild tension in the hamstrings. Hold 30 seconds. 

Active Isolated Stretch
1. Keep knee straight and contract hip flexors (front of hip) to raise leg. Hold 2 seconds. 
2. Return to start position and repeat 10 times.

Facilitated Stretch
1. Contract hip flexors (front of hip) to raise leg up and hold 6-10 seconds.
2. Try to push leg toward the ground, using strap as resistance (leg doesn't move-contract hamstrings isometrically). Hold 6-10 seconds.
3. Return to start position and repeat #1. back to top

 

HIP ABDUCTOR STRETCH

Muscles Stretched: gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, tensor fascia latae Importance to Runners: Tightness in the hip abductor muscles can cause pelvic imbalances that can lead to pain in the hips, low back and knee.

Strap: end loop under arch of foot, with strap around outside of target leg   Body: lying on back with legs straight

Static Stretch
Pull leg up and across body, while rotating foot outward, to point of mild tension in the outer hip. Hold 30 seconds. 

Active Isolated Stretch
1. Contract adductors (inner thigh) to move leg up and across body. Hold for 2 seconds. 
2. Return to start position and repeat 10 times.

Facilitated Stretch
1. Contract adductors (inner thigh) to move leg up and across body. Hold 6-10 seconds.
2. Try to push leg back to midline, using strap as resistance (leg doesn't move-contract abductors isometrically). Hold 6-10 seconds.
3. Return to start position and repeat #1. back to top

 

QUADRICEPS STRETCH

Muscles Stretched: quadriceps

Importance to Runners: Tight quadriceps can cause knee problems.

Strap: end loop on middle of foot, with strap over opposite shoulder  Body: lying on stomach with target leg straight 

Static Stretch
Pull foot toward buttocks to point of mild tension in the front of the thigh. Hold 30 seconds. 

Active Isolated Stretch
1. Contract hamstrings to pull foot toward buttocks and hold 2 seconds. 
2. Return to start position and repeat 10 times.

Facilitated Stretch
1. Contract hamstrings to pull foot toward and hold 6-10 seconds.
2. Try to straighten leg, using strap as resistance (leg doesn't move-contract quadriceps isometrically). Hold 6-10 seconds.
3. Return to start position and repeat #1.  back to top

Runner's FitKit

CUSTOMER SERVICE     STORE POLICIES     PRIVACY POLICY    SITE MAP     HOME      

Simple Fitness Solutions, LLC ©1996 - 2016