04.24.2013

Stretch it out….

Last week we posted a training schedule for a half marathon (if you missed it click here). In the schedule we emphasized the importance of stretching. After I completed my first half I encountered my first sports injury: searing pain in my lower back. I was basically forced to not run or engage in any high intensity work out for about 4-6 weeks. It puzzled me. How could this have happened? As I reflected on the moments after I finished the race, I realized I had been so focused on the fact that (1) I finished and (2) I wanted to find my hubby and friends so we could go celebrate with mimosas, that I forgot to stretch. I went to chiropractors and massage therapists, ultimately ending up at a wonderful orthopedic surgeons office. He diagnosed the problem and reviewed stretches that I needed to engage in, post workout, to prevent future injury! I share these with you below!

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This pose is most similar to “Pigeon Pose” in yoga. This pose will help you open your hips and stretch them out, which will help to prevent lower back pain, as well as knee and hamstring injuries. Make sure to complete on both sides. I hold mine for a minute each.

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Sit as if you were in second grade getting ready for story time…. then fold over into a relaxed stretch as you feel the stretch in your hips and back. Make sure to do this stretch with both legs in front.

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To get into this position, lie on your back with your arms horizontally stretched out. Bring your left leg over your right and gently hold it there with your right arm (don’t force the stretch though), then turn your head to face the opposite direction of your leg. Hold for desired amount of time and then switch. You should feel the stretch in your things, groin, neck, stomach, and back. This also works the lower back and quadriceps.

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In yoga this is called the “Wide Leg Squat”…. I think it’s pretty obvious why! This is another stretch that opens up the hips and gives them a deep stretch. It helps to prevent lower back injury and stretches out the muscles in your feet.

Hope these help!

Thanks for reading!

<3, Shannon

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