THE 4 STRETCHES RUNNERS SHOULD DO EVERY DAY March 25, 2017 17:34 1 Comment

Have You Gotten Out of the Habit of Stretching?

Then Here Are Some Key Stretches For You!

As runners and walkers, we can sometimes focus on putting in miles rather than maintaining strength and flexibility at home or the gym. While distance runners and walkers increase their mileage to gain endurance, it's equally important to keep up with a stretching and strengthening routine to prevent injury.

Physical Therapist Karen Gonzalez employs a technique called Ki-Hara, which is a type of resistance stretching that involves lengthening muscles while strengthening at the same time.

Here are 4 Ki-Hara Stretching Exercises

For Every Day

These four stretches involve strengthening and lengthening the muscle. Do not rush, but move through the motions slowly. Only stretch to your tolerance level in each of these exercises, and repeat Steps One and Two (pictured) about 5 or six times.


Step One- Bend knees and place hands beneath the arch of each corresponding foot (right hand goes under right foot, left hand under left foot).
Step Two- Straighten the knees in a slow motion and then bend the knees for one rep.
Repeat the straightening and bending of the knees 5-6 times, slowly.
Variations- Turn out both toes and do step one and two. Then turn in the toes and do step one and two.

Hip Flexor

Step One- Kneel on one knee with the back foot down. Plant the opposite foot in front with the knee bent.
Step Two- Tuck the pelvis underneath by tilting it forward. Push down on the back leg as if you're pushing your foot into the ground while leaning slightly forward on the front leg.
Repeat steps one and two about 5-6 times, slowly. Switch legs.


Step One- Lay flat on your back. Bend one knee all the way to your chest. Keep the opposite knee bent with the foot planted on the floor.
Step Two- Extend the heel of your foot toward your head.
Repeat steps one and two about 5-6 times, slowly. Switch legs.
Variations- Instead of bending the opposite knee, straighten that leg for a more difficult stretch.


Step One- Lift one bent elbow to about shoulder height. Take the opposite hand and place on top of the elbow.
Step Two- Raise the elbow at the same time as using the opposite hand to push down on the elbow. Tilt neck away at different angles for stretch.
Repeat steps one and two about 5-6 times, slowly. Switch arms.


Injured or Looking for a Physical Therapist?

Whether you've sustained an injury or simply want to improve as a runner, set-up an appointment with Karen Gonzalez by calling (727) 481-1694. She employs Ki-Hara, Ultrasound, Shockwave, and other therapy methods to best help her clients.


Example of Ki-Hara with Karen

Ultrasound with Karen

Shockwave with Karen

Karen has been a registered physical therapist for 20 years. She's a Certified Ki-Hara Master Trainer and a Certified Level I Track and Field Coach with the USATF specializing in proper mechanics and treatment of injuries. Visit her WEBSITE for more info.






Blogger Bria is a customer service manager at St. Pete Running.