Four Beginner Triathlete Training Stretches
Get Long and Lean muscles with stretching
I have a secret. I hate stretching. In fact, much to my husband, Trainer Davey’s dismay, I don’t do it nearly enough. I have good intentions, really, I do. After a run or a beginner triathlon strength training workout, I get out my yoga mat, and start stretching… but then I get distracted and bored and end up just laying on my mat checking the latest Instagram pictures or browsing through Pinterest… decided what to make for dinner of course, wink wink.
While it may be one of the least loved parts of triathlon training, stretching is SO important. Not only does it help you recover from your workouts faster, it also helps prevent injuries and helps your muscles look long and lean. So whether you’re pressed for time or you are like me and get bored with stretching, here are 4 quick and triathlon specific stretches that anyone has time for!
- Hip flexor stretch- Your hip flexors get abused during triathlon training because they are heavily used in each sport. You use them when you kick during your swim, when you pull up on the bike pedal and obviously you use them when you run. So the chances of a beginner triathlete having tight hip flexors is pretty high. Tight hip flexors can cause low back pain, bad posture and knee problems. So, try this stretch out and keep your hip flexors loose and limber. Simply kneel on one leg like the picture and lean forward. You should feel this stretch in the front of your leg where your leg meets your hip. For an added stretch, grab your back leg, as seen in the picture. Switch legs and repeat.
2. Quad stretch – Not only do you use your quads for biking, but you also use them after when you run. Think of your quad as a power house muscle… and they can get overworked and sore. Tight quads can cause knee pain and it can pull your hips out of alignment, so do this quad stretch to keep your quads working in tip top shape!
Stand and grab your foot, holding onto something for balance. You should feel this in the front of your leg. Switch legs and repeat
3. Shoulder stretch- You may have sore and tight shoulders if you’ve been swimming and doing beginner triathlon strength training arm workouts. This shoulder stretch helps improve your range of motion when you swim which makes you more efficient in the water so you use less energy. (optional- place a massage ball behind your back and massage the soreness out of those tight upper back and shoulder muscles. )
Place one arm across your body and hold it in place with the other arm as shown below. You should feel this in your shoulder and upper back. Switch sides and repeat.
4. Hamstring stretch – Hamstrings are not as strong as the quads and so they are more susceptible to injury. Keeping the flexible and loose is key to preventing injuries. If you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk all day, your hamstrings tend to get tight and short, so do this stretch to help lengthen and loosen your legs for happy hammies.
Put one foot over the other, as shown, and hinge at the waist and try to touch your toes. You'll feel this stretch in the back of your leg and behind your knee. Don't force it... only go as far as you can. Repeat with the other leg.
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