Incorporating a regular mobility practice into your training schedule is a great way to improve the way your body moves so you can run more efficiently and reduce your risk of injuries. Of course, most runners don’t have time to spend hours working on a mobility practice, but this simple routine can be done before or after your run in just 10 minutes, making it easy to fit into a busy schedule.
Wall ankle mobility
This is a great exercise for any runners who struggle with plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. Aim to do eight to 10 repetitions per side.
Walking quad stretch
This exercise lengthens the quad and this hip flexor, two areas where runners often experience a lot of tightness or restriction. Make sure you keep your core engaged and maintain good posture with each step, avoiding a significant forward lean. Do five to six repetitions per leg.
It’s important to get as low into the squat as possible when performing this exercise, so if you’re unable to squat all the way to the ground while keeping your heels on the floor, place some small lifts (a couple of books, or some small, flat weights) under your heels. Keep your core engaged throughout the entire movement to maintain good posture. Aim to complete eight to 10 repetitions.
This exercise will open up the hips, mobilize the hip flexors and improve your single-leg stability. As always, make sure to keep your core engaged to maintain good posture throughout. Aim to perform five to six repetitions on each side.
Lunge to hamstring stretch
This exercise will help open up your hips as well, while also lengthening your hamstrings. If you can’t get your elbow all the way to the floor without rounding your back, stay on your hands instead. Aim for five to six repetitions on each side.
This is a very effective exercise for opening up and mobilizing your hips. Make sure you go slow, only stretching as far as you can comfortably. Aim to perform eight to 10 repetitions.
Sliding side-to-side squat
This is another great exercise for opening up your adductors and TFLs. Try to get as low into the squat as you can (while keeping your heels on the ground), and slowly shift your weight from side to side, as if you were ducking under a garage door. Stay in the bottom of the squat the entire time, only standing up once you’ve completed all repetitions. Make sure you engage your core to maintain your posture throughout. Aim for five to six repetitions per side.
Quadruped thoracic rotation
Runners should have good mobility through their thoracic spine, the longest section of your spine, to have good running form. Aim to perform 10 to 12 repetitions on both sides.
Broomstick chest stretch
Many runners who spend their days sitting in front of a computer have a tight chest and shoulders, which causes them to hunch over when they run. Counteract that tightness with this simple stretch, aiming for eight to 10 repetitions.
Scapular wall slides
This is another exercise to counteract a hunched-over running posture. Make sure that you keep your core engaged through this movement, keeping your back against the wall and your ribs tucked in. Only slide up the wall as far as you can without your ribcage flaring out or your back coming off the wall. Aim for 10 to 12 repetitions.