Your Stretching Tips

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Eight hours of sleep felt pretty good, but truthfully — I could’ve slept 8 more!  I did wake up to a lovely breakfast, which made Monday a little more bearable:


Somewhere in that mess is a Hodgson’s Mills Insta Bake Whole Wheat Waffle, topped with Chobani Vanilla yogurt, flax seed, crushed almonds, and a chopped nectarine.


It was banging!


10 Minute Stretch and Strength Routine


I started my movement off with some light cardio in my living room.  I windmilled, jogged in place, and did jumping jacks for three minutes, and then I stretch out my poor legs for another 5.


After stretching, I did some strength moves:


  • 100 bicycle crunches
  • 30 push-ups
  • 20 reverse crunches


Getting in a little bit of movement in the morning feels SO good!  Even if I don’t have the time to really work out in the AM, my routine perks me up and makes me feel more productive.


Your Stretching Tips


Last week, I asked for your opinion on stretching.  Here is a summary of the 60 responses the post received:


  • Foam Rollers are God’s Gift to Mankind:  Foam rollers were universally touted as a miracle.  I have a foam roller and can attest to its awesomeness.  As stated in this article, "The best way to eliminate and prevent muscle knots is the foam roller… Use the roller against the muscle knots with your own body weight to generate the direct pressure.  A foam roller is a good alternative to repetitive trips to the massage therapist.  Bottom line: The foam roller is an inexpensive, yet highly effective way to treat and prevent the most common injuries seen in runners."  For information on foam rollers, check out this Runner’s World article.


  • If You Stretch Before a Workout, Warm Up First:  Although readers are split on whether stretching before a workout is beneficial, everyone agreed that it’s important to warm up cold muscles before stretching.


  • Always Stretch After a Workout: Although some of us admit to being better about stretching than others, all the responders said they felt better when they do stretch out.


  • Don’t Bounce!  Readers generally feel that bouncing motions while stretching is bad.  Also, hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds to get maximum benefits.


  • Get Educated:  Since so many injuries are the result of poor biomechanics of your muscles, learn more about your anatomy to help you better stretch out the trouble spots.  KSGoodEats sent this awesome resource over.


  • Strength Training is as Important as Stretching:  I was flooded with emails from people who felt improvement in their knees and hips after isolating those muscle areas during strength-training moves.  Here are two websites that one reader named Emily sent me:   Leg Exercises – The Crab Walk and Hip ExercisesJane sent this article:  Knee Pain. Consult a Physical Therapist to learn more!



  • Get Professional Advice:  Make an appointment with a Physical Therapist to learn more strength and stretch moves that you can apply to your own unique situation.  After all, I’m only a semi-professional advice-giver, not a doctor.  🙂


  • NoMeatAthlete June 8, 2009, 4:01 am

    Yay for foam rollers! Such a great way to prevent injury. And it's even relaxing, once you do it for a few weeks and your muscles are soft and it doesn't hurt like heck anymore! The difference in how it feels after a few weeks is a testament to how necessary foam rolling is.

  • Amelia (AC/DC: Highways to Health) June 8, 2009, 4:48 am

    Great tips! I've also jumped on the foam roller bandwagon. It's a fairly simple way to work the knots out.

  • seesaraheat June 8, 2009, 5:01 am

    Great to hear all the different stretching tips! I have yet to try a foam roller so I may have to look into that eventually. Have a great day 🙂

  • Lauren June 8, 2009, 5:09 am

    These are great tips! I often try to remember to strech after my runs, but I must admit, on the week mornings when I am pressed for time, I often skip. (So bad, I know!)

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE my foam roller though. You are right, its a runner's bff!

    Oh, and I just discovered a great little 10 min. cooldown strech for runners on my Comcast on demand Exercise TV. It's called the Pink Ribbon Workout series and its a 10 min strech for runners and walkers to do after a run. I find it's PERFECT to do after my long runs.

    Thanks for providing all this great info. Have a wonderful day hun!

  • Sarah (Running To Slow Things Down) June 8, 2009, 5:26 am

    Isn't stretching wonderful?

    Sometimes I'll overlook it in the morning before heading out to work or wherever, and I definitely notice that I feel better when I *don't* forget. It helps to loosen up in the morning and really helps wake me up.

    Great tips! 😀

  • Nicole ( June 8, 2009, 5:31 am

    I have to admit, I really need to start getting serious with stretching! I've been in and out of physical therapy during highschool for shoulder injuries and you would have thought I learned about the importance of stretching!

    Now that I'm armed with all this information and training for a tri, I am going to really get serious!

  • healthymadison June 8, 2009, 5:41 am

    Those are great tips! I definitely like to stretch in the morning especially if I cannot get a workout in the morning. I am always so stiff when I wake up, so stretching is a must. Are you really stiff when you wake up too? It is always my ankles, sometimes I feel they are swollen.

  • calabazapie June 8, 2009, 5:56 am

    I love your great breakfasts during the week! Sometimes knowing I'm going to make some pancakes is the only thing that will get me out of bed on time during the week 🙂

  • Katherine June 8, 2009, 6:00 am

    Foam rollers really are the best!!!

  • Elina June 8, 2009, 6:01 am

    Oh man, I think I could have slept another 8 hours today too (I got prob 7 at most!). Your breakfast does look like a delicious way to start the morning though 🙂
    If you get a minute, check out my Holey Donuts giveaway!

  • Brandi June 8, 2009, 6:23 am

    great stretching tips! I haven't used a foam roller yet, but I've heard they're great!

    Looks like you had a fun weekend!

    The waffle looks like a great way to start a Monday 🙂

  • Matt June 8, 2009, 6:26 am

    Mmm waffles. I made some blueberry walnut waffles after my run today!

  • Jess June 8, 2009, 6:27 am

    Thanks for the info on the foam rollers! Very cool…reminds me a little bit of the work we do with cork blocks in my hatha yoga classes.

    Ps. We were on the same page with breakfast this morning…I'll post my beauty when I get home tonight!

  • meg June 8, 2009, 6:39 am

    Thanks for all the stretching tips! I really needed them!

  • april June 8, 2009, 6:41 am

    Great tips! I've been using a foam roller lately and its wonderful!

  • jane June 8, 2009, 6:50 am

    wow what great advice, and very comprehensive! it's awesome how you use this blog to learn information from all your "viewers" and then pass it along to us. i really appreciate the segments in the blog devoted to other topics rather than just food diary things (not that i'm saying the food stuff is bad).
    have a great day and good luck with the knee! keep us updated!

  • sarah June 8, 2009, 7:13 am

    I have started using my roller even more since I discovered Hulu. Somehow, spending time rolling my IT band goes a lot quicker while watching the "Daily Show."

  • K from ksgoodeats June 8, 2009, 7:16 am

    Thanks for the shout out with the website – I'm addicted to it! Glad you found it helpful 🙂

    Have a great Monday!!

  • Catch Me If You Can June 8, 2009, 7:19 am

    Thanks for the stretching tips. After my first half I learned I need to stretch more, not wear flip flops and watch what I eat better. My tummy is STILL not happy two days later!! 😉 Stretching is so important if I had stretched more before my back wouldn't have hurt before the race possibly and I would be less sore.

  • Anne June 8, 2009, 7:59 am

    Great tips! Yesss I definitely think everyone should get a foam roller! They've helped my knees and IT band so much.

  • runnerskitchen June 8, 2009, 8:02 am

    I love your mini-morning workouts 🙂 Sometimes when I can't get to the gym in the a.m., I do 30 push-up, tricep dips, and abs. It definitely gets my heart rate up and starts the day on a high note!

  • runsarah June 8, 2009, 9:03 am

    Awesome tips! I need to find a foam roller, I am still on the lookout.

  • janetha June 8, 2009, 9:07 am

    thanks for the recap of all the tips you got! i really need to become a better stretcher. i can't even touch my toes!

  • catruns June 8, 2009, 5:33 pm

    Thanks for the mention! I'm still pretty new to the blog scene (doesn't help that my computer's harddrive died about two months in) and it was so exciting to see my little blog mentioned on yours! Made my day 🙂 I hope the yoga pose helps. Thanks again!

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