Thursday, July 19, 2012

Get Your Stretch On


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!

Warrior I

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.

Deep lunge

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. 

Pigeon 

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. 

Frog

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. 

Standing straddle 

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. 

8 comments:

Tasha @Healthy Diva said...

My post last night was on my prehab/rehab exercises. Great minds must think alike! Several of the stretches you posted I also use as part of my stretching routine too. I hope that you your hip flexors aren't feeling as tight anymore.

missris said...

I usually do a cursory stretch when I get home from running, but I could definitely be better about it. When I do go to yoga (about once a week), I always leave feeling like I should do it much, much more often.

nrmrvrk said...

When your Ninja burns out (and it will) look at the BlendTec. Fast, powerful, and a 7 year warranty. Expensive but worth it over time.

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I'm REALLY bad for stretching immediately post workout but I do try to go to yoga 2-3 times per week. That has not been happening lately, though!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I love pigeon pose. It's my favorite stretch. I am not very good about stretching after runs as I am usually SO exhausted. Which is why I really want to try to do yoga on a regular basis. I did that trial week but the studio is just too expensive for me... so I am looking into joining a gym that is known for having good yoga classes!

Enjoy the new blender!!

Lindsey said...

Um, the poses on that website are crazy! I can't imagine doing any of them.

I'm really bad about stretching after running. Especially if I run from work at lunch.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I love the warriors and the cobra. I am really horrible about stretching though. When I am done running, I just want to eat, shower and rest. I really need to work on better stretching!!! Thanks for the tips! I have to try that pigeon!

Heather @ Dietitian on the Run said...

Oh, the runner's hips...such a disaster most of the time. ;) Pigeon is my go-to when I know it's been too long. The frog squat is the most painful of them all (for me, never seems that hard for everyone else, hah dangit).