May 17, 2013

Hamstring Stretches

During my run earlier this week, my hamstring felt a little tight. I powered through and when I finished my run, I stretched…sorta… I really made an effort to stretch the rest of this week. Like, seriously stretch. Like, twenty minutes of serious stretching. My body feels great all over and I’m ready to log some serious miles this weekend!

Did you know that tight hamstrings are very common, especially in runners. It is crazy important to do hamstring stretches. Did you know tight hamstrings can contribute to back pain, hip pain, and knee pain?

Here are some easy hamstring stretches that you should do to increase your flexibility and improve your running performance. (Disclaimer: I am the least flexible person ever so you should probably Google these stretches to get a better picture of someone doing them properly :))

Hurdler Stretch
Sit on the floor and straighten your  left leg in front of you. Bend your right knee and place the sole of your right foot against your left inner thigh.
Fold over your left leg, keeping your back straight.
Hold for 30 seconds and then switch legs.

Toe Touch
Sit on the floor and extend both legs straight out in front of you.
Bend at the waist and slowly reach down to touch your toes.
Your legs should be flat to the ground (I'm working on this one!)
Make sure you're not bouncing!
Hold for 30 seconds

Reclined Hamstring Stretch
Lie on your back & raise your left leg as high as you can (keeping your pelvis flat on the ground).
Hold your lower thigh and pull your leg towards your head.
Try to keep your leg straight (I struggle with this!)
Flex your foot and stretch your calf too!
Hold for 30 seconds and switch legs. 

Read here & here for more hamstring stretches.

Do you stretch before/after every run?
How many miles do you plan to run this weekend?
What are your non-running plans this weekend?

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