Taking just five minutes to stretch before heading out the door on your run can help protect you from preventable injuries.
At Orlando Sports Medicine, we call this prep the Flight Check.
The Flight Check is all about making sure your body is ready to move. If you are a morning runner, you may be in the routine of grabbing a cup of coffee and heading out the door. But you need to make sure that you inspect your neuromuscular system before you ask your body to go strong for 30, 45, 60 minutes or more. Below is a Basic Flight Check that takes about five minutes to complete and will have you feeling better and more prepared to move. Repeat each check 3-5 times on each side. Get ready, get set, and then…run!
Bring your right knee to your chest and grab below the knee with your hands. Keep your “toes toward your nose,” hold for 10 seconds and then switch sides. You should feel a stretch in the glute and hamstring of the knee you are “hugging.”
Start with both knees bent. Lift up your right leg and grab just below the knee, allowing your leg to stay slightly bent. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch sides. You should feel a stretch in the hamstring.
Prone Quad Stretch
Lie down on your stomach. Bring your heel toward your buttock, keeping your knee in line under your hips. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch sides. You should feel a stretch in front of the thigh.
Standing Calf Stretch
Stand facing a wall and step forward with one foot. Leave the heel of the rear foot on the ground and keep it perpendicular to the wall (don’t let the foot “toe out”). Hold for 10 seconds, and then switch sides.