If you want to run faster, you need your muscles to be flexible and supple. One of the keys to running faster is to run with your muscles as relaxed as possible. The first way to accomplish this is by running relaxed and avoiding any tension or strain while you are running. The second thing is to improve your flexibility so that your muscles and execute more power and so you have a greater range of motion when you are running.
How can improving flexibility improve your range of motion?
If you think of sprinter Usain Bolt, he actually has a greater range of motion compared to other sprinters in track and field. His average stride length is longer than most competitors and thus he covers more ground in a quicker time when he is running.
One advantage that he has is his height and leg length, however, all athletes can improve their stride length by improving the flexibility in their muscles.
Below are a few muscle groups that you can target.
Hamstrings are one of the muscles that can restrict your range of movement significantly. Stretch these regularly so you can improve your stride length and your leg turnover.
Stretch your glutes so that you can maxmise your power when striking the ground.
When your quads are tight, it will affect your range of movement and turnover. Loosen the muscles as much as possible.
Calves are used almost all of the time and as a result, can become easily fatigued and tight. Stretch them for up to 30 seconds daily when you aren’t training or competing.
Your hip flexors can become very tight and restrict your range of motion. Conduct stretching exercises such as leg swings to loosen the muscles and give them more freedom for movement.