Improve Flexibility to Reduce Your Injury Risk

May 4, 2023

Start Mobility Work to Improve Your Running

Improving your bodies mobility, or flexiility, to become more supple and flexible offers many physical benefits. Such training allows for easier and deeper movements while building strength and stability. Mobilise, or stretching, your muscles and joints leads to greater range of motion, improved balance, and increased strength. Improved mobility produces a wide range of physical benefits and can have a positive effect on your overall well-being.

Make running smoother

Reduce resistence with improved movement

Today we look at a few ways that increased flexibility is likely to help you.

Fewer injuries: Once you develop strength and flexibility in your body you’ll be able to withstand more physical stress. Plus, you’ll rid your body of any muscle imbalances, which will reduce your chance of getting injured during physical activity. Correcting muscle imbalances requires a combination of strengthening the underactive muscles and stretching the overactive (tight) ones.

Less pain: Your body is likely to feel better overall once you work on lengthening and opening your muscles. When your muscles are looser and less tense, you’ll have fewer aches and pains. Plus, you may be less likely to experience muscle cramps.

Improved posture and balance: When you focus on increasing muscular flexibility your posture is likely to improve. Working out your body allows you to have proper alignment and correct any imbalances. Plus, with an increased range of motion you may find it easier to sit or stand in certain ways. Yoga has been shown to improve balance.

 Greater strength: It’s important to increase strength as you become more flexible. This ensures your muscles will have the right amount of tension so that they’re strong enough to support you and your movements, allowing you to become more physically fit.

Improved physical performance: Once you increase your flexibility to allow greater movement in your body you’ll be able to perform better physically. This is in part because your muscles are working more effectively.

Mobility work, for activities such as running, can help improve performance as well as injury prevention. For example, consider the role of your hips while running. When you push off the ground, you want to be able to lift your knee above your hip without your pelvis rotating If you can’t get full hip extension into that pushing leg because your hip flexors are super tight and short, your body is going to compensate, and there’s a detriment to your performance as well as a risk of injury.

The ankles and calves are another important area in terms of flexibility. If your ankle is restricted in dorsiflexion (toes up towards your  knee) and/or plantarflexion (pointing downs down away form your body), you reduce the amount of power you can get from your push-off. And limited ankle range of movement can shorten the Achilles tendon and calf muscles, which limits the amount of potential energy that can be stored when you hit the ground.

Picture the difference between a sprinter’s stride and the shuffle many of us revert to near the end of a marathon; that shuffle comes from the tightness that builds up in your body over the course of a long distance. Many distance runners don’t push their connective tissues through the full range of motion at an easy pace. But if you want to leverage a strong final kick at the end of a race, you’ll be better able to do so if you have good range of motion, especially through the hip joint.

Then make sure you challenge your body to use this new found range with interval training sessions, to really get that stride working for you.

Dynamic Runners are Flexible Runners