We want you to spend more time on the road than on your foam roller, so we spoke to David Reavy, founder of React Physical Therapy in Chicago, for a smarter, more efficient method of staying injury-free. Reavy prescribes warming up prerun so every muscle fires correctly on that first stride, to prevent imbalances and overuse strains. This also saves time by cutting postrun pain treatments.
Functional Warmup: Perform 10 reps of each move or variation to activate your legs and core. Once you’re comfortable with this warmup, it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.
Start in a split squat, knees held at 90 degrees. Hold your arms up in a W, pulling your shoulder blades down and back. Use your glutes to stabilize the movements. And keep your right knee steady over your foot.
1) Lean your body forward over your front leg, then squeeze your glutes to pull back up.
2) Rotate while stabilizing your hips.
3) Rock your torso.
4) Pulse your hips up and down about 3 inches. Repeat each on the left side.
Stand with your weight on your heels, toes pointed slightly out, and knees soft. Pull your shoulder blades down and together. Lean forward, pushing your hips back, then return to standing.
Step back with your left leg crossing behind your right. Drop your left knee to the ground. Pressing through your right heel, return to standing. Repeat on the other side.
Calf Raises, 3 Ways
Lean into a wall, putting your weight on your elbows. With your feet pointed straight ahead, lift your heels. Repeat with feet pointed in 30 degrees and again, turned out to 45 degrees.
OMG, That Feels Good!
Every muscle in your posterior chain—from feet to glutes to core—should work together when you push off the ground. A tight spot means that muscle is overworked and others aren’t pulling their weight, says Reavy. Release tight muscles postrun to help them relax and re-engage slacking muscles to prevent injury. Here’s how:
Release tight spots with a roller or lacrosse ball by applying pressure, then lengthening and shortening the muscle through its range of motion. Continue until you feel the muscle relax, which may take up to 30 reps of the movement. Follow the release with a 3×30-second stretch of the muscle.
4 Great Foam Rollers to Relax
Self-massage Foam Roller
Use the foam shaft to massage, relax muscles, reduce muscle stiffness and promote blood circulation.
Performance GRID Foam Roller
The wide and narrow three-dimensional texture can be used to imitate the masseur’s palm or fingers to for the muscle group.
2.2 lb. 3-Speed Vibrating Foam Roller
Choose between low, medium, and high intensities to apply the perfect amount of pressure to each of your sore muscles and joints.