by Leslee



Yo! Runners, walkers, cyclists, gardeners, active people….listen up.  The PERFECT time to get into the muscle fiber to reduce injury, enhance recovery and generally feel GOOD, is to stretch right after your sport.

After riding/training, STATIC stretches where we hold poses for at least one minute, helping to lengthen tight hamstrings and overused hip flexors and spine for injury prevention, balance and recovery. Here are just three great ways to release the psoas, hip flexors and back.

1. CROSS LEGGED BRIDGE

A light backbend that strengthens/releases back, legs and hips, massages spine, and opens chest.

  • – Back flat on ground, knees bent. Elbows bent alongside ribs, fingers point to ceiling.
  • – Bring R ankle onto L knee and flex R foot. Push L foot and elbows hard into mat to lift hips off floor.
  • – Do not tuck chin, keep throat open.
  • – Drop R knee toward floor but don’t let R hip drop – keep both hip points level.
  • – Breathe deep and steady. Hold for 5 or more steady breaths; switch sides.

 

2.THREAD THE NEEDLE


Opens and releases outer hip and hamstrings while neutralizing the spine.

  • – Back flat on ground, knees bent. Bring R ankle onto L knee and flex R foot. Lift bent L leg and bring R knee toward chest.
  • – Put R hand on inside of R knee and L hand on R foot. Gently push R knee away from body.
  • – As you exhale, continue to draw L knee closer to chest keeping low back on floor.
  • – Relax shoulders and back. Hold for minimum of one minute; switch sides.

 

3. HAMSTRING HAVEN


Stretches all hamstrings while releasing accumulated tension in low back. 

  • – Using a strap or belt, lie on back, legs extended. Place strap aroundball of R foot.
  • – Slowly lengthen R leg so strap slides through hand until leg is fully straightened. Elbows fully extend.
  • – Relax upper neck and shoulders. Press ball of R foot into strap while pulling strap into ball of foot.
  • – Keep back of L  thigh pressing into ground, L foot flexed.
  • – Hold 1 to 2 minutes each side breathing deeply, steadily.
  • NOTE: KEEP BOTH KNEES BENT IF HAMSTRINGS EXTREMELY TIGHT AND WORK SLOWLY TOWARD STRAIGHTENING LEGS.


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