7 Essential Runner Stretches with Austin Martinez
Austin Martinez – 7 Essential Stretches
Stretching is such an important, and sometimes even controversial, topic to runners and yet how many of us know how to use our stretching time to its best potential?
Today we are talking with Austin Martinez, athletic trainer and education director at StretchLab. He is a Certified Athletic Trainer with a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Athletic Training with additional certifications in Strength and Conditioning who has worked with Division 1 college athletes and professional teams like the Houston Astros.
Runner Stretches to Prevent Injury
In this week’s episode, he describes the 7 Essential Stretches for runners and why we need to include flexibility and strength workouts in addition to just running miles for injury prevention and optimum performance as a runner. These stretches focus on the following areas of our bodies: Feet, Lower Legs, Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Spine, Core, and Upper Body. (Ok, that’s really 8, but Upper Body is easily overlooked for runners and Austin gave us a bonus stretch).
Step by Step
Austin walks us through all these stretches, step-by-step so we can add these into our training protocols. He also explains to us what ‘PNF Stretching’ is and why research has shown it to be the most effective method of stretching. And he explains the difference between ‘acute’ and ‘overuse’ injuries.
Research and Testing
Scientific Research is very important to us at Runners Connect and Austin is published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Allied Health Sciences for his research on ACL Injuries.
If you don’t currently employ stretching in your training regimine, this episode may help you ‘stretch’ outside of your comfort zone and improve your recovery and performance.
Questions Austin is asked:
3:22 What are ACL injuries and why are they of interest to runners?
4:38 Is stretching that are important for runners?
5:42 First Three:
- Where were you born?
- Where do you live now?
- How do you stay fit?
7:34 How does your background identify with runners?
8:54 Why is stretching important and what is ‘static’ and ‘dynamic’ stretching?
11:57 How long should we hold a stretch?
13:43 Have you seen results?
14:28 What are the 7 Essential Stretches for runners and how do we perform them to become better runners?
28:27 Do you have an upper body or other stretch that we should also be doing?
32:26 How long do we need to spend stretching each day?
33:19 On a percentage basis, how much of our training should be devoted to Running, Strength Training, and Mobility?
35:08 Is it almost inevitable that injuries will happen if we don’t do proper recovery?
36:33 What are some injuries you see in runners that might be helped by stretching?
39:37 What about IT Band?
40:44 Anything else we should keep in mind?
43:12 Final Kick Round:
- What is your favorite local training run or outing (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?
- Favorite book(s), video or resource?
- Who or what would you like to have featured on the Run To The Top podcast?
Quotes by Austin:
“The muscles are the guardians, the barriers, for the ligaments; the ligaments are protected in a sense by these muscles, these bigger movers around them. And so, when they start to fatigue and wear out and they’re not getting the recovery they need, it puts a lot more stress on your ligaments than needed.”
“Stretching is so innate to our body. The first thing when we get out of bed is, we want to reach up for the sky. We want to get a stretch, we point our toes down, we point our legs and we try to stretch out before we start our day.”
“We have have busy lives. We spend most of our time on training, but we don’t want to forget about that recovery aspect. As long as you’re taking care of your body and listening to it, and you’re having a consistent stretching protocol, it’s just going to help you continue to do what you want to do.”
“When it comes to running and strength training, ultimately you’re breaking your body down to build it back up, to make it stronger. So we need to help with recovery. We need to help expedite that process. We need to help facilitate it. And that’s where recovery comes in.”
“The TFL is kind of a hip-flexor, in a sense, and it’s kind of a stabilizer. So if you’re putting a lot of mileage on, you’re probably overworking this TFL if you’re not taking care of it. And so, our TFL gets tight and pulls on that IT Band. And when that IT Band gets pulled on, the IT Band attaches on the outside of your knee, and so that’s why we feel a frictioning feeling on the outside of our knee.”
“Take care of your body. We only have one. I’m a big believer in ‘Movement is Medicine”, so being active is huge, but the second aspect of that is putting habits in place to make sure that you can continue to do the things you want to do and stretching is one of those great things.”
Take a Listen on Your Next Run
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