Hamstrings is a muscle group that we have previously discussed and can severely restrict the stride length when running. That would create more work for the athlete to cover a certain distance and in a long endurance race that is already tough on the body it is important to be as flexible and strong as possible. Hamstrings also help with the flexion at the knee and medial rotation of the lower leg and it is important to adequate stretch the entire leg before competition.
Correct functioning of the evertors and invertors of the foot is vital for proper biomechanics of the foot and ankle. They stabilise the lower leg and often act to control movement rather than initiate it. During this stretch the stretcher lies supine and turns the sole of his foot towards the midline by contracting the invertors. The partner should grasp the lower leg for stabilisation and hold the foot with their other hand whilst the stretch attempts to straighten their foot. After this push the stretcher should breathe in deeply and on exhaling contract the peroneals to increase the eversion and deepen the stretch.
This stretch has a number of muscles that are contributing called evertors and invertors. The evertors are the three peroneal muscles: the peroneus longus, peroneus brevis and the peroneus tertius. The invertors of the foot are tibialis anterior and posterior which were discussed in last week's Stretch-of-the-Week.
Obviously we could not include every stretch required for this sport instead this blog will aimed to cover the main stretches used and maybe a few you may not have thought of previously. Please remember to follow the safe stretching tips we have given you in the previous blog as well as the individual safety tips for static and PNF stretching.
Images taken from "Upper Body Stretches" wall chart by B. Walker.
Images taken from "Lower Body Stretches" wall chart by B. Walker.