I’ve mentioned before that stretching is not my strong suit. I tend to reserve time for my workout, but not a ton for the pre-and post- workout recovery period.
Yet, since starting to run (and especially with training for my first half marathon) I’ve noticed a big difference in my body after I get a good stretch/foam roll session in and when I don’t. My problem areas are my glutes, hamstrings, hips, and calves. I know I need to target these areas and the stretches always benefit me in the long run, but oof, man I love to hate these stretches when actually doing them.
I apologize in advance for my stick figures.
1. Downward-Facing Dog. I really struggle with down dog. When coming into the position, my palms sweat and I start slipping. Add to this that I have long arms, and it can make for a bit of an awkward pose for me. Upside? My hamstrings and glute muscles get a deep stretch.
2. Pigeon pose. So restorative, but ooh – the hips! Working on getting the foot up and the hip down.
3. Kneeling quad stretch. This is how my stretch looks. Ideally, the back foot should be in the hand. Hurts so good, and is definitely worth it in the end.
4. Standing Wide Legged Forward Bend. Again, working the back of the legs. Especially when I’m trying to get the crown of my head to the floor, it’s a constant push.
5. Seated Hip Opener. Activating the majority of my problem areas, this stretch is one of the ones I normally do immediately following a run. Sometimes I rock it back and lay flat on my back. Either way, it’s a great stretch for me!