Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Keep those muscles loose...

Summer is pretty much here and that means that people are going to be way more active on the road, on the trails, on the water (running, riding, skiing, etc). This is a great thing! Unfortunately, and I am VERY guilty of this myself, when we aren't in the gym and in our routine, post workout stretching gets put on the back burner.

It's so easy after that grueling 2000 ft elevation mountain bike ascent to just get off the bike, guzzle down the rest of your water, and then get back in the car to hit the rest of your day. Or after your a long 4 hour hike to just want to throw your feet up and call it a day. But, with increased activity level and especially activities that require repetitive motion (like riding, running, hiking, etc) our muscles get really tight. This over and over again ends up causing a lot of problems that can prevent us from performing as well as we would like or even worse taking us out of the game due to injury.

I've talked about this before, but the benefits of stretching are HUGE.

-Injury Prevention
-Muscle Recovery
-Increased Circulation
-Improved Posture
-Pain Relief
-Enhanced Performance
-Stress Reduction

Hips and low back seem to be things that really nap people because our hips are where our power comes from. Below are 3 stretches for your hips and legs that you can do pretty much anywhere and NEED to do right after your done with your workout. Happy Stretching!

-Hamstrings - Lie on back, keep one leg out straight on the floor and pull the other leg straight up by grabbing back of calf or wrapping something around ball of foot.

-Hip Flexors - Kneel down, put one foot out in front so you're in kneeling lunge. Press hips forward and try to straight back leg. Lean back slightly if you don't feel the stretch.

- Periformis - Lie on Back and cross right ankle on left knee. Pull left leg toward chest while pushing out on right knee. Do on both legs.

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