Join Moms on the Run National Fitness Director, Olympian Carrie Tollefson, for part 3 of our stretch series. Today's stretch focuses on our hip flexors, a group of muscles in the area where the thighs meet the torso. Tight hip flexors can cause hip and lower back pain, especially in runners. And because of the role that they play in lifting the legs, tight hips can interfere with a runner’s progress. Extended periods sitting at a desk or in a car can also contribute to tightness in the hip flexors. Grab your mat or our final stretch!
Join Moms on the Run National Fitness Director, Olympian Carrie Tollefson, for part 2 of our stretch series. Take a seat on your mat, as today's stretch, the seated twist, works the muscles in the back of the thigh (the glutes) and the buttock. The gluteal muscles are large, strong and used often — while running, climbing, and standing up from a seated position. And having strong muscles in the buttocks may help support the leg muscles during a run.
To do this stretch:
Sit on a mat and stretch the legs out in front of the body.
Bring the left leg over the right leg and place the left foot on the floor, bending the left knee.
Twist to the left and use the right arm to press the left knee gently inward. Hold for 30 seconds.
Untwist and repeat on the other side.
Your body uses many muscles when running, so stretching after a run is important to loosen up tight muscles. Learn about 10 effective stretches for your legs, back and feet.
Grab your mat and join Moms on the Run National Fitness Director, Olympian Carrie Tollefson, for a great big hug — knee hug, that is. This is a great stretch for the lower back. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, up to 80 percent of adults experience lower back pain during their lifetime. Good recovery after a run will help minimize the stress to your lower back.
To do this stretch:
Lie down on a mat with the back flat on the floor.
Slowly bend the knees and bring them in close to the chest.
Grasp the shins, pulling them in gently, and hold for 30 seconds.
Slowly lower the legs back down to the floor. Repeat.