Flexibility Training: Running Stretches

When you move into this stretch, go slowly. Keep both shoulders on the ground and rotate the hip away from the ribs, bringing a deeper stretch into the hip. Be sure to flex the ankle and straighten the back of the knee.

This position lets you release the tension in the side of the leg and hip. Moving the leg closer to the floor isn't the point. Take your time to make small adjustments in the leg position. Relax and notice the effects as you move out of the stretch.

Standing Hamstring

Standing Hamstring

Standing hamstring will let you safely decompress the knee, rejuvenate deep hip muscles and reinforce the length at the waist. It will coordinate the lower leg alignment and positively affect your running gait.

  1. Place both hands shoulder width apart on a wall or the back of a chair.
  2. Walk your feet under your hips until your legs are perpendicular to the torso.
  3. Arch your lower back.
  4. Hold this position for five breaths.
  5. On inhale, raise your left leg back a little.
  6. Straighten your right leg. Your left hip can roll toward the ground.
  7. Hold this position for five to 12 breaths.
  8. Repeat with the other leg.

The key movement is at the waist and the ribs. After you create space at the waist, adjust your weight on the standing leg, keep the back arched, and move the left hip down.

Notice what happens at the knee when you lift the outside edge of your foot. As you hold the stretch, drop the hip a little more and breathe easy and smooth. If you're tight, move your hands up the wall so the lower back can arch.

Stretching can be targeted to address specific areas and create certain effects. Focus on your alignment in these stretches, as they directly correspond to your optimal running alignment. Use this set of stretches and feel better, run like a pro, and race and train forever.

Brian Dorfman holds a BS in kinesiology from UCLA and has 25 years of experience helping world-class athletes and others reach their goals. His proven techniques keep athletes performing at their peak. For information or to purchase the Flexibility Training DVD visit www.briandorfman.com or call toll-free at 866-787-3348.

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      • Flexibility Training: Cycling Stretches

      • Flexibility Training: Swimming Stretches

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