Getting Ready for the Pittsburgh Marathon With 3-D Stretches

By Stacey Simon

Did you know that our bodies typically move in three planes of motion?

Earlier this year, Ron DeAngelo, ATC, explained the importance of three-dimensional movement to a group of runners at a UPMC Sports Medicine free seminar for the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. Before running, DeAngelo stresses warming up with 3-dimensional stretches to lengthen the tissue and get into proper running condition. Similar to active stretching, 3-D stretching is done in three planes of motion.

We used Twitter’s Vine to illustrate a few 6-second videos of DeAngelo performing 3-D stretches. He recommends that you do these before running, about 10 reps on each side.

3-D Calf Stretch vine.co/v/bP5rllI0xP7
— UPMC Sports Medicine (@UPMCSportsMed) May 2, 2013

This 3-D Calf Stretch will help to lengthen the calf and loosen the subtalar joint, which sits below your ankle and provides shock absorption while you walk or run. To perform the stretch, lean forward and hold onto a pole or wall for support. Drive the knee forward and back, then side to side, then rotate the knee as shown.
3-D Balance/Reach vine.co/v/bP5rnFLrrdw
— UPMC Sports Medicine (@UPMCSportsMed) May 2, 2013

The 3-D Balance/Reach is an exercise that may help reduce your risk of injury by strengthening your muscles and improving coordination and balance. This exercise requires you to balance on one leg. With the other leg, reach out as far as you can while maintaining control of your balance. Tap the ground once you’ve gone as far as you can in each direction.
3-D Hamstring Stretch vine.co/v/bP5vBWzr1pO
— UPMC Sports Medicine (@UPMCSportsMed) May 2, 2013

DeAngelo believes that a hamstring stretch is most effective when performed on rotation. For this 3-D stretch, you can rest your leg on an elevated surface as shown. Lean forward and rotate your pelvis forward. Once you come forward, rotate side to side. Then rotate the pelvis internally and externally while keeping the muscle stretched.
3-D Groin Stretch vine.co/v/bP5J0phLMwU
— UPMC Sports Medicine (@UPMCSportsMed) May 2, 2013

A tight groin muscle can lead to both knee pain and shin splints. For this 3-D groin stretch, you will stand with your feet apart and your arms above your head. First move side to side, bending your front knee as you move into the stretch. With your feet in the same position, move your hips forward and backward, then rotate towards the front knee keeping your muscle stretched.

3-D Hip Flexor Stretch vine.co/v/bP55u9FrYld
— UPMC Sports Medicine (@UPMCSportsMed) May 2, 2013
This 3-D hip flexor stretch can help with knee and hip pain as well as shin splints. With your arms above your head, rotate in the three directions shown after your drive your hips forward.

Nationally known for his work with many notable sports stars, Ron DeAngelo has trained numerous runners to overcome a variety of obstacles and achieve their marathon goals. A Fellow of Applied Functional Science, he is an expert on biomechanics, the science behind human movement and performance. He also is certified as an athletic trainer, strength and conditioning specialist, and performance enhancement specialist. Mr. DeAngelo sees active people of all levels to help them prevent injury and perform at new heights. To schedule a session with Ron at UPMC Sports Performance, call 412-432-3871.