Friday, May 24, 2013

Stretching It Out

Posted by CheapRunnerRhoda

I have been a running slave addict for just over 2 years now. I am extremely blessed , that so far, I have not experienced any injuries. I do have very tight hamstrings to deal with though. Tight hamstrings that are not treated properly can lead to knee or other injuries. Awhile back I decided to do some research on what I could do to allievate this chronic tightness. I thought I would share with you a few things that I started incorporating into my daily routine. Some of these tips I got off the internet and some I got from my Chiropractor and Massage Therapist. This may or may not help you, depending on your needs.

Stretching-duh! I have always known this is important but there never seems to be time for this.

To stretch out the hamstring it is important to get at the hamstring without stressing the sciatic nerve. Sometimes we think we are stretching the hamstring, when in fact we are not.

A really, really good one that I try to do every morning and every night is the doorway stretch.

The reason why I like this one so much is because the doorway keeps your leg in place and you don’t have to use your arms to hold your leg. You get a straight stretch right through the hamstring. You can also choose how much you want to stretch it. You can hold for 20-30 seconds in one position, then stretch it out further for another 20-30 seconds or longer. I actually do this one up to 5 minutes per leg.

Standing hamstring stretch

This is a good one to repeat regularly throughout the day.

Stand with the leg to be stretched just in front of the other one, bend the back knee and lean forward with the hips, (if you are like me and your balance challenged- place your hands on the bent leg’s thigh to help balance), lean forward until you feel the stretch and hold for 30 seconds.

Massage is also extremely important.

After big races, I always schedule a Massage appointment for a day or two after to help with this. On a daily basis, it is difficult to massage your own hamstring. Foam rollers are really good way to help with this.

A few weeks back at the Expo for the Forest City Road Race, I purchased a foam roller from Braun Roller Works for $15. (they sell them online for $17.60).

Previous to my Foam Roller purchase, I used a rolling pin

Similar in shape and it was better than nothing but was a little too much. The Foam Roller is much better!

I have been pretty faithful to my foam roller lately and I am really starting to notice a difference in how I feel. This is something that you can easily use yourself and it is not too big or bulky that you can’t take it with you places.

Icing

Icing is good for strains, which if you haven’t been stretching your tightness can turn into a strain. You can actually buy cold wraps for your hamstring area that also have compression but they are expensive so I just make my own. I actually have a flexible ice pack from Wal-mart that has a wrap attached to it.

Do this for 20 min on and 20 min off-for a couple hours-if you have that long.

TIP: Do this after you have done your stretching and NOT before. You don’t want to stretch cold muscles.

There are many things you can do to help with hamstring/muscle tightness, these are just a couple simple things that I found have been easy to do every day and have made a huge difference for me.

 


In other happenings this week.....

I found a new Clif Bar to try:

Can't wait to try it!

And we have started to talk/think about where we want to go on vacation next February!

At the airport waiting for our flight to Mexico last February


Any vacation spot suggestions?

 

Any injury prevention suggestions?

 

Hope you all have a great weekend!

 

3 comments:

  1. ...good news - we booked our car for "marathon" weekend in January...just scoping out hotels now!

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  2. Hi, I'm a new reader! I'm really bad about stretching after I run so this post, especially the pics, really helps! I found that my foam rollers helps force me to stretch, especially cuz it's such a good hurt lol! Have a great weekend!

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  3. Ari - thanks for checking us out! I'm with you - I need to start taking more of Rhoda's "stretching/rolling" advise...right now I'm only an icer

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