THINK ABOUT PERFORMING SOME STRETCHES BEFORE GETTING OUT OF BED in the morning! You can extend the luxury of lazing about AND GET STARTED ON YOUR FLEXIBILITY WORKOUT. A Livestrong.com article "3 Wake-Up Stretches To Do In Bed" shows a picture of a woman stretching in bed sitting up and stretching BUT actually describes 3 LOWER BODY STRETCHES:
Straight leg (for hamstrings)
Bent knee to chest (for piriformis)
Side knee bend (for quads)
There has been considerable discussion about static stretching prior to athletic performance. In a February 25, 2014 post by Sonya Collins, reviewed by David T Derrer MD, WebMD advises that it isn’t necessary prior to exercise as it’s not been “proven to help prevent injury, curb muscle soreness after exercise, or improve your performance.” The emphasis has been rather to perform dynamic stretches to warm up, “which are like your workout but at a lower intensity”. Before a run this could mean starting with brisk walk or doing “walking lunges, leg swings, high steps, or "butt kicks" (slowly jogging forward while kicking toward your rear end)”.
The best time for static stretches is AFTER exercise when the body has been moving and blood has been circulating to all the tissues. HOWEVER stretching ANYTIME has benefits “It is not a must that you stretch before or after your regular workout. It is simply important that you stretch sometime. This can be when you wake up, before bed, or during breaks at work.” The section quotes Lynn Millar, PhD, a physical therapist and professor at Winston-Salem State University, “‘Stretching or flexibility should be a part of a regular program.’” Millar also authored an article posted on the American College of Sports Medicine organization’s website “Improving your Flexibility and Balance” dated Feb 12, 2012.
WITH TIME OF STRETCHING NOT BEING CRUCIAL, think about performing some stretches before getting out of bed in the morning! There are the Livestrong stretches (see above). The Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma also offers a set of Lower Body Exercises under it’s education section “Runners Resource Guide: Therapeutic Exercises” that include stretches performed in the supine (lying on the back) position, which can be done in bed. Some exercises are shown performed with a band (this could also be a thin towel), but actually the same moves can be done without this aid. The stretches are described/pictured at the later section of the guide, after the exercises (listed here):
Hip Flexor Stretch (Supine)
Hamstring Stretch with band (or towel)
Iliotibial Band Stretch with band (Crossover)
Iliotibial Band Stretch with band (Crossunder)
Exercises (these are terrific for improving lower body strength)
Seated Hip Flexion
Side Lying Hip Abduction
Hip Extension (Prone, Knee Extended, and Bent)
Another stretch that I find particularly easy to perform in bed is the Piriformis Stretch, described by WebMD:
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. I began participating in 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.
New! Search Box
Earned Runs is now searchable! Check it out...