A week ago Sport and Spine Rehab of McLean (SSR) had an educational workshop with the DC Capital Striders Running Group (DCCS). The goal of this workshop was to shed light on optimizing form, maximizing speed and minimizing injury potential during running. These avid runners were taken through 3 stations involving dynamic stretching, active recovery using foam rolling and gluteus muscle activation exercises.
The stretching station led by Casey Wilkinson, a rehab specialist at SSR of McLean, took each individual through a series of dynamic stretches of muscles that closely attaches to the hip in a 12 minute span. The muscles included the hamstrings, piriformis, adductors, and hip flexors, just to name a few. Dynamic stretching increases range of motion, blood and oxygen flow to muscles, improving performance and reducing the risk of injury
The second station was led by Chino Robles, another team member of the rehab specialists at SSR of McLean, showing DCCS runners the importance of active recovery using a foam roller after running. The benefit of foam rolling is to promote blood flow and increase connective tissue healing. It was made clear that day that there was no right or wrong method to foam roll. The goal is to “roll” the muscle belly from the proximal to the distal insertions and yes” it hurts so good” as most people will describe it. Some important muscles to consider working on after running is the IT band, piriformis, hamstrings, and gastrocnemius muscles.
The final station, was led by myself, Dr. Hayford Anane, a chiropractor with board certification in physiotherapy, where a quick functional screening was done to test for weakness of the Gluteus Medius, our primary hip stabilizer. Exercises shown to strengthen the Gluteus Medius included the clamshells, glut bridges and my all-time favorite the “monster walk” using Thera-band loops. Every runner should focus on their hips for balance and support and also for drive during running.
This was a successful event and the first of many to come. If you are a runner looking for tips on how to prevent running injuries, I recommend you stop by a Sport and Spine location near you and ask one of their doctors about how they can help you.