Greetings and welcome to a long overdue Take It And Run Thursday. Courtesy of the folks over at The Runner's Lounge, today's theme is:
If I could only do one stretch to help my running, I would... Share with us your favorite stretch that also helps you run better, farther, faster or with fewer injuries. Explain it, show it, draw it, video it - whatever works for you. Tell us what you do, when you do it and how it helps you. And if you are like me, if you always intend to stretch more than you do, then share the best stretch you would do.
I barely even have to think about how to answer this question -- my absolute favorite runner's stretch is PIGEON. It's the first part of a yoga pose. The full pose involves reaching behind you and holding onto your toes, but the first part is what really gets me all loosened up. I suffer from tight hips, so it's a great one for me.
You basically get into downward facing dog, then swing one knee up to a sideways kneeling position, and let all your weight sink down onto that one thigh / knee. THen you fold over, putting your forearms and forehead on the ground. Hold. Swing back into downward dog and repeat on the other side. You can also add a twist for a further stretch / detoxification.
It looks like this:
To take the stretch even deeper, you can come back to an upright position, and reach behind you go grab your toe, stretching out your quads and abs:
Of course, my VERY favorite way to stretch is just by taking a full-on yoga class, complete with 30 minutes of Restorative Yoga at the end -- it loosens up my body AND my mind!
Off and running,