absolutely vital that before any strenuous activity is undertaken, the muscles
to be used are warmed up and prepared in readiness for the work to come.
Therefore all warm up routines should be event specific and for explosive type
middle/long distance runners of Dudley Ladies, stretching of the muscles from
the waist down before and after exercise are the ones to concentrate on.
experience of talking to and working with female beginners over the years, we
have found that a lot of women tend to wear “heels” during the day and may not
have done any exercise for several years. This has the effect of gradually
shortening and tightening the calf muscles. The girls suddenly decide that they
want to run and without any preparation at all, they put on a pair of
flats/trainers start taking bigger strides than they are normally used to on
hard tarmac/concrete roads with cold shortened muscles and…….Bang, they pull a
this risk of injury, stretching is needed in order to bring the shortened
muscles back to their original length and to reduce or avoid post exercise
of stretching is to try to increase the range of movement around a joint or a
group of joints. This helps to strengthen the joint and as well as increasing
the flow of blood into the muscles around it.
race or training run, the best time to stretch is immediately after a short easy
jog or some other activity that has stimulated blood flow and raised your body
temperature. Each stretch should be held for no less than 10 seconds, without
any bouncing or sudden movements.
race or training run, you again need to bring the muscles used back to their
original length. During any physical activity the muscles used tense up,
contract and shorten. The first you know about it is when your muscles start to
ache or get tight and stiff.
reduce or prevent post exercise muscle stiffness, you now need to lengthen and
loosen the muscles back to their pre-exercise level by holding your warm-down
stretches for longer – i.e. 30 seconds or more.
Below are a
few tips on how to stretch properly and a brief description of our warm-up
routine which we recommend that you do as a minimum. There are many other good
exercises and different ways of stretching the same joints but these exercises
will be a good start in helping to prevent you from getting injured.
Ten tips on how to stretch
1. Do everything
2. Hold the stretch
for at least 10 seconds prior to exercise (warm-up) and for at least 30 seconds
post exercise (cool-down).
3. Breathe normally
and relax while holding the stretch to the point of pain.
4. NEVER, EVER do
any bouncy stretching, always hold and relax.
5. Focus on the
muscle you are trying to stretch and then try to lengthen it.
6. If a particular
muscle group is tight, then stretch it in stages. Stretch as far as you can,
then relax it and stretch again. This is most important during cool-down.
7. Move slowly out
of the stretch.
8. Remember to
stretch both sides of the body.
9. Increasing the
range of movement around a joint will help the blood flow to the muscles
surrounding the joint and increase circulation that will carry away any lactic
acids that may build up in the muscle.
10. Do more
stretching in addition to just warming-up and cooling-down. As we get older our
muscles shorten naturally, and it is vital for everyone that stretching becomes
part of your normal everyday life. Gyms that offer stretch-classes or Yoga,
where the aim is to permanently and progressively increase your flexibility are
well worth considering if time and money allows.
Dudley Ladies Warm-up Routine
Ladies, we all do the same warm-up routine before every run. Because there are
so many of us and we usually meet indoors, our warm up routine centres around a
number of static flexibility exercises and stretches and to make things easy to
remember, we start with the muscles at the top of the body and work our way
stretch cold muscles. If you
can't warm up with a gentle jog then wave your arms about or do anything you can
think of to raise your pulse rate and warm up your body before doing
the following :-
slightly apart, stand up straight and stretch for the sky.
slightly apart, stand up straight and stretch Left.
slightly apart, stand up straight and stretch Right
slightly apart, stand up straight and stretch Backwards.
slightly apart, stand up straight and stretch Forwards
slightly apart, stretch to touch Left Ankle
slightly apart, stretch to touch Right Ankle
slightly apart, stretch to touch as far back between legs as possible.
Shoulders, in order to keep them straight, rotate Hips 10 times to the Left
Shoulders, in order to keep them straight, rotate Hips 10 times to the Right
Right Knee to chest and hold until a pulling is felt in the Hamstrings just
below the buttocks.
Left Knee to chest and hold until a pulling is felt in the Hamstrings just below
Right Foot so that heel touches your bottom and hold when pull is felt on front
of thigh quadriceps.
Left Foot so that heel touches your bottom and hold when pull is felt on front
of thigh quadriceps.
forward, putting all weight onto Right foot, stretch groin by pushing hips
forward and keeping back straight.
forward, putting all weight onto Left foot, stretch groin by pushing hips
forward and keeping back straight.
against a bar or wall, feet pointing forwards. Slowly press hips forward keeping
Hold when you feel ‘pull’ in calves
If no wall
or bar is available,
Stretch calf by placing feet comfortably apart, keep trunk
upright with weight over rear leg.
Rear foot must point straight forward. Move
front foot slowly forward.
Hold when stretch felt in calf of rear leg. Repeat
with opposite foot forward.
Right Foot onto a bar or raised support.
Bend supporting leg and reach out to touch your toes, until
a pull is felt in the Hamstrings
Foot onto bar, bend supporting leg and reach out to touch your toes, until a
pull is felt in the Hamstrings
If no bar
is available, place one foot in front of the other, a small step apart.
on the back leg (weight on the back leg). Stretch front leg, flexing foot
upwards for extra resistance.
Lift your buttocks and bend supporting leg.
down on out-stretched knee until a pull is felt in the Hamstring just
below your buttocks in the out-stretched leg.
feet together, raise and lower heels 10 times
feet together, go over on outside of feet 10 times
feet together, go over on inside of feet 10 times