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Functional, three-dimensional stretches are one of the most effective ways to improve flexibility and joint mobility.

Posted in Blog, Injury Prevention, News, Rehabilitation, Running.

September 3rd, 2013

Easy 3D Stretches to Incorporate Into Your Training Routine

Most of us grew up learning static stretches with a prolonged hold: stretch your quad by bending your knee and bringing your foot to your butt. Stretch you hamstrings by bending at the hips and touching your toes.

While any form of stretching is better than not doing it at all, three-dimensional stretches are far more effective in improving flexibility and joint mobility. Why? Active, dynamic stretches that take your body through all planes of motion introduce movement, which increases the circulation to loosen up your body before a workout and to prevent stiffness and expedite recovery post-workout. Dynamic stretches are also more functional because they mimic the natural way we move when walking and running.

A good warm up before you start your run is a lunge matrix stretch to assess areas of the body that feel limited or restricted. Check out this video demonstrating how to do the lunge matrix in all three planes of motion.

From there, key in on specific stretches or movements to address areas that need it. Check out the Finish Line Physical Therapy video library that includes examples of functional stretches that you can incorporate as an active warm up and cool down.

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