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Emma Coburn’s 3-minute post-run mobility routine

Pre-run activation has become pretty mainstream, but activating post-run is also important for injury prevention

Most runners now do some kind of pre-run activation routine, but anything post-run can get ignored. When the workout is over, even a cool down can feel laborious. However, incorporating some kind of post-run routine into your schedule is great for injury prevention, especially for runners who sit at a desk all day. While 2017 steeplechase world champion Emma Coburn doesn’t have a desk job, she does ask a lot of her body. Here’s how she winds down after a hard session to ensure she’s ready for her next run. 

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Extra focus on taking care of my body lately because I haven’t been seeing my body work practitioners. This is a post run mobility series. Post run, the main focus is ANKLES & HIP and getting mobility through my upper back as well. 1) sit on feet for 30 seconds. Seems basic but it’s great for getting mobility into planter flexion. Sit with good posture and belly breathe. 2) end range squat holds. Squat down & hold something (preferably at chest level) & hold for 30 seconds. Great for hip mobility and posture. I like to sway over each ankle after a bit to get more ankle mobility. 3) couch stretch, put one leg up onto a couch/chair and the other leg bent a 90 degrees. Stretch hip flexors/TFLs/psoas & hold for 30 seconds. 4) banded upper thoracic mobility (great for pre run as well). Get on all fours and using your outside arm, pull the band through. Repeat 10 times per arm. Hips stay neutral and square to the ground but focus on twisting your upper back as much as possible when you pull to work on the mobility. 5) banded ankle mobilization. Loop a heavy band around the base of your ankle and stand with the ball of one foot on a slightly elevated surface (a book here). Joe had to stand on the band to provide a stronger anchor for me. Drive your knee forward, while keeping hips square (your forward motion should just be driven from your knee, not your hips). Repeat 10 times per side. This works at mobilizing the ankle joint and getting into end range dorsiflexion. I sped my video up here but got nice and slow 👍🏻(first 3 moves are from @thereadystate and we have been doing them for years- love these!) Click the link in my bio for the bands #mobility #homeworkout (song Believe by Meek Mill feat. Justin Timberlake)

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Sit on your feet

Coburn writes that most of her post-run mobility is focused on her hips and ankles. She starts this routine by sitting on her feet for 30 seconds. 

End range squat holds

Squat down and hold something (preferably at chest level, like a railing or coffee table) and hold for 30 seconds. This exercise is great for hip mobility and posture. Runners can make this a little more challenging by swaying over each ankle, which is good for balance. 

Couch stretch

Put your back leg up on a couch and leave the other leg bent, like you’re lunging. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. You should feel this stretch in your hip flexors and psoas, both of which are chronically tight in runners. The psoas is a muscle which extends through the pelvis to the femur and is activated by lifting your leg towards your body. 

Banded upper-thoracic stretch

This exercise requires a band. On all fours, using your outside arm, pull the band (attached to a table) through to full extension. Be sure to keep your hips square with the ground. Repeat 10 times per arm. 

Runner can overlook their backs, but it’s a crucial part of running performance. For those who sit at a computer especially, your thoracic spine and shoulder mobility can suffer, so this exercise is crucial. Most runners think of overuse injuries stemming from their spines, but everything is connected. 

Banded ankle mobilization

Runners’ ankles can get really locked up, which can cause issues up the chain. If you move your ankles around post-run, this can keep you whole body in line. Start by wrapping a band around your ankle and flexing it forward. You should feel this in your shins and calves. Repeat 10 times on each side. 

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