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Stretching the Right Way. Rectus Femoris… | Boddicker Performance

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Stretching the Right Way. Rectus Femoris…

by on Jan 27th, 2009

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In deciding what stretches are necessary, we must first look at the functional anatomy of each muscle and the function in each individual. Typically with runners you’ll see incredibly tight low range hip flexors and relatively inactive hip flexors that function above 90 degrees due to the typical high volumes of low amplitude running. As such, we spend a little more time opening up the low range flexors, especially rectus femoris, which subsequently shortens as an adaptive mechanism. As it is a muscle that acts on two joints (hip flexion and knee extension), we need to exploit that to put it into stretch, so it is essential to put the hip into extension and the knee into flexion for proper stretching. With that in mind, we don’t statically stretch pre-run as we don’t want to increase joint laxity and risk of injury. It’s generally reserved for gym work (to facilitate activation of the posterior chain) or post-run. Pre-run, we focus on more dynamic stretching types, depending on the condition of the athlete. If he can’t do a basic routine pain free, he won’t be running for very long if at all that day.  Also of critical importance, static and dynamic mobility only play a small role in getting an athlete back and keeping them healthy. The best model is a multi-faceted approach that includes dynamic and static mobility work, strength training, running, and soft tissue work among other things.

Hope this helps.

-Carson Boddicker

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