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What stretches should I do for triathlon training?

The first thing you want to keep in mind is that you should be stretching every day, twice a day whenever possible. Foam rolling prior to static stretching will help break up knots/adhesions, which will aide the static stretching with lengthening your muscles and help prevent injury. The video shows how to foam roll the inner thigh, but you will want to foam roll your glutes, inner & outer thighs, calves and your lats. Static stretches are held for 20 to 30 seconds at the point of tension. You do not want to stretch to the point of pain or discomfort.

Prior to your training session or race, you should perform dynamic/active stretches such as hip swings, Iron Cross Stretch, torso rotations, and arm swings. Static stretches should be performed after your workout and/or race.


[media id="PRD__4d35f6996212e8_47014941" title="Wendy Batts - Foam Roll Inside Thigh"]

 


There are a couple of forms of stretching you can do before and after your triathlon. Before your triathlon, you want to do dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching is done with motion. This is appropriate before activity because it will loosen the joints and ligaments as well as help raise the core body temperature needed prior to activity. Some types of dynamic stretching include, walking on heels and the ball of your foot, lunges, ankle circles, hip and groin circles (imagine yourself climbing over a hip high fence) & arm circles. After your triathlon, you should do static stretching. Static stretching involves no motion at the joint and requires a sustained hold of the position for at least 30 seconds. Static stretching is used as a cool down because it relaxes and lengthens the muscles that have been worked. Examples of static stretching are hamstring stretch (extending your leg on a chair or a railing), quad stretch (holding on to a wall and grabbing your ankle & pulling your heel to your butt), calf stretch (keeping you knee straight, placing your foot against a wall and leaning your body toward the wall)

Triathlon training requires plenty of pre/post stretching. Be sure to prior to your race to stretch areas such as your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, chest, triceps, shoulders and back. Essentially, a full body stretch should be completed daily. In addition, stretching in the form of self-myofascial release will truly be beneficial to help work out any knots in your muscles.  After completing this form, move into a dynamic warm-up to prepare your muscles for the triathlon. Following the race, cool down with static stretching.

Best of luck!

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