STIFF HIPS HELP PLUS AN ASYMMETRY CHECK. Are you bored with doing MYRTLs before a run but keep doing them because you realize hip mobility is key to smooth running and a more youthful feeling to your stride? Or are you faithful in performing MYRTLs and think your hips are sufficiently flexible that additional improvement is not likely to be achieved through other routines? Check out the moves suggested in the article, “5 Ways To Ease Stiff Hips” by Mackenzie Lobby Havey for the My Fitness Pal blog.
If you normally stretch passively AFTER A RUN, do the same with these. Or, a period of brisk walking beforehand to warm up the joints or performing dynamic stretches to activate muscles may be helpful. Those who have stiff knees may experience more difficulty than with MYRTLs.
Specifically, try move #2, the Cross-Legged Forward Fold as described. THEN, UNCROSS AND RECROSS YOUR LEGS SUCH THAT THE OPPOSITE ANKLE IS IN THE FORWARD POSITION. We tend to favor one position over the other depending on the degree of flexibility in each hip or the other joints of the leg. This additional move can reveal an unrecognized ASYMMETRY that is affecting your running. As with any imbalance in mobility or strength, work a bit more on the side that needs it! Plus, this is a hip flexure stretch that MYRTLs don’t work on as well.
The #3 Leg Swings consist of two MYRTL moves, so should not be new; these are dynamic and could be performed before a run. The #4 Walking Hip Stretch is similar to a piriformis stretch but performed standing up and with less stretch of that muscle achieved, so be aware that to avoid falling you may need to be next to a stabilizing fence or wall. Because you are walking when performing it, this may be a dynamic stretch. The #5 Yoga Squat can also put you off balance so find a sturdy object nearby to steady yourself as needed.
#1 Spiderman is a passive stretch as described in this article. If you alternate moving each leg forward leg without returning to the “start” position with both feet back, in such a way as to be crawling forward, it becomes a dynamic stretch.
If you are looking for more of a challenge with regard to dynamic stretching and injury prevention, some of these moves are incorporated into a YouTube presentation by Chris Bailey DPT for Twin Cities Orthopedics. In 15 minutes he describes and has an assistant demonstrate more than 20 stretches, some of which are more difficult progressions of a standard stretch, designed as well to strengthen and stabilize the body.
Seine Freeman B.S, a strength and conditioning specialist from Tri-City Wellness Center does a totally wonderful job of explaining stretching and demonstrates, with pictures, passive and dynamic routines in a PDF (free download that will be included on the EarnedRuns RESOURCES page).
Chris Bailey DPT with Twin Cities Orthopedics
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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