Runners often forget the power the back has over the rest of their body. For example, pain in the hip or leg can often times be due to a tight back. The lumber spine especially, if not stretched properly, can be one of the biggest culprits for causing serious pain and cramping for runners.
Every athlete needs to listen to their bodies and do their due diligence to check with their doctor prior to beginning any workout routine. For those that have taken those steps, the next part of the process is simply taking the time to add stretching to your exercise routine. The following are some great options for those looking to relieve tightness in the back caused by running:
1. Child's Pose: This popular yoga pose can be a great way to stretch out the lumbar spine. Make sure you maintain your breathing rhythm throughout the pose and focus on the muscles you're trying to stretch out.
2. Lying Down Torso Twist: This pose is also popular amongst yogis and can help stretch out both the spine and the neck. Again, move slowly into the stretch and focus on maintaining your breathing.
3. Seated Twist: This is professional runner's favorite stretch in the sense that you can feel the stretch in every part of your back. Go slowly into the stretch and sit up nice and tall in order to fully benefit from the position.
4. Foam Roll: Foam rollers have made a serious impact on the running industry in the last few years but are often overlooked as an everyday stretching tool. When your back is tight, pull out this handy item and foam roll your back. Make sure you're performing the motion properly and you'll feel the immediate benefits of using the foam roller to relieve tense muscles along the spine.
Always maintain your breathing, keep control of the movement, and focus on the muscles you're trying to reach. By incorporating a stretching routine into your daily exercise, you'll notice faster recovery rates, less pain when exercising, and even increased energy post routine.