For whatever reason, my hip flexors have become surprisingly tight in the last week or so. I have a hunch that it's the combination of intense circuit training (at home), hill work and lots of trail running without a proper amount of stretching to follow.
Saturday, I went to a power yoga class that gave me several opportunities to work on the hip flexors. Then Sunday afternoon when I returned home from 16 miles on the McKenzie River Trail, I went through my 25 minute "yoga for runners" yogadownload.com podcast. It hurt so good.
Monday, I did another stretch session on my own to work out the tightness. The key is, I've got to keep at it.
I've included a few stretches below that I need to include in my stretching routine. Thanks to the manfriend for playing photographer!
Sometimes just getting into this pose, I feel my hips pop a little and realign. Make sure hips are pointing forward with your back foot grounded at a 45 deg angle.
Here the hip sockets should both be pointing straight ahead, arms up (or on your hips), shoulders pulled down and away from your ears, feel the stretch in the back hip flexor and heel. Breathe.
I dip the back knee down and hover it 1 inch off the ground for a little challenge and deeper stretch before coming back up and holding it.
This is a great overall hip stretch and really gets at the outer hip. Step one foot forward and bend it in the shape of a 7. The goal is to have the top leg parallel to the top of your yoga mat...mine is definitely not.
The great thing is that you can adjust your leg a lot depending on where you're at. I am much tighter on this right side (above) than I am on the left so I've got to adjust my front leg and expectations a bit.
Squat low with feet wider than hip distance and toes pointing out. Press your hands together while using your elbows to push your knees apart. I gave you the side shot because I'm nice like that.
There are all kinds of great things you can do here, but I can get a hip stretch when I really lean and pull toward one side.
Looking at all of these reminds me I also really need to keep my hamstrings in check because they're always tight. Just trying to stretch everything appropriately would take another good 30 minutes after every run. Maybe in another lifetime...
And for some more yoga fun... 25 Yoga Poses most people wouldn't dream of trying. There are about 10 of these I'd love to be able to do, but they would require some serious time on the mat.
Look who finally got a new blender! I'm now the proud new owner of a Ninja.
I had a giftcard from my mom and Macy's was having a sale so it was meant to be. Plus, I was sick of making smoothies in the food processor without ice. Green monster smoothies, I'm comin' for you!
Time to confess: Do you stretch post run/workout? I probably stretch after a workout about half of the time and most often I only spend a few minutes on it. But I figure something is better than nothing! Plus, I'm trying to incorporate more forced stretching (yoga) into my weeks where possible.
As you probably know, I'm no yoga or medical expert, so remember that these are just my suggestions on stretches that work for me. Be smart and listen to your body and medical professional.