Favorite Running Stretches

Well hello!

I’m thrilled to say that Cleveland is thawing out and it will be 60 degrees tomorrow! Woo hoo! That’s quite the heat wave.  I’m excited because we are doing a special St. Patrick’s Day walk tomorrow at work.  The weather couldn’t be better for it!

Speaking of St. Patty’s day, walking is about the only thing I am doing to celebrate.  No crazy parties for this girl.  Sophia, Boo and I (my dogs of course) will celebrate by relaxing in front of the TV.  I’ve become so lame in my ‘old’ age! Andy is out of town with some buddies for the weekend.  I’m sure he’ll be celebrating enough for the both of us! 😉

Back when I was in college, St. Patty’s Day was one of the best days to go out.  We would literally start partying (aka drinking) in the morning and continue all day and night.  Lots of green beer was consumed and plenty of Taco Bell at night!

St. Patty's Day Festivities

Green Beer Drinkin'

Green Hat!

How are you celebrating this fine day tomorrow? Now onto some fitness talk, I got a little distracted reminiscing about the green beer!

Favorite Running Stretches

Before I run I do a few of my favorite stretches to get me all limbered up and ready. I have very tight hips and my right hip is always a lot tighter than my left.  This can throw of my running form and cause either my hip flexors or IT band to overcompensate.

Some research says that stretching before cardio exercise is bad, but for me it’s essential.  I can’t just go out and run.  Believe me, I wish I could! I have to take time to stretch if I want to enjoy my run.

*The exercises below can be found here, I love this site!

First, I start with a lying hip flexion exercise to warm up my hips. I do this 10x on each leg:

Flexion

Then I hold the stretch (knee towards opposite shoulder) to stretch my glutes:

Glute Stretch

I hold the stretch for 15 seconds 2x on each leg.  If I feel extra tight, I’ll repeat 3-4x on each leg.

Following glute stretching, I’ll do a lying abduction exercise followed by a hip external rotation exercise.  I do a set of 10 on each leg for each exercise.

Abduction

External Rotation

I then stretch my Hip Flexors with one of my all time favorite stretches:

Hip Flexor

I follow this stretch up with Pigeon Pose. I think that this is such a great stretch to open up the hips:

Pigeon Pose: Hurts so good!

Finally I round out my stretching routine with an IT band stretch and foam rolling (along my IT bands):

IT Band

I roll up and down my IT band 10-15x on each leg.  At work we have really dense foam rollers.  They hurt.  But in a good way 🙂

Foam Roller

If I feel the need to stretch more due to any extra tightness or soreness, I add in more stretches (found here).  Then it’s time to RUN!

My latest runs have been interval style, like this workout and this workout.  I have a need for speed lately!

Questions:

What are some of your favorite stretches?

Are you celebrating St. Patty’s Day tomorrow?

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8 responses to “Favorite Running Stretches

  1. Thanks for the great info. on stretching. I am always at a loss for the best ones. But aren’t you supposed to do those kinds of stretches after your run? I heard that before your run, it’s better to do dynamic stretches that warm up your muscles.

  2. I LOVE foam rollers. Love!

    Back when I was exciting and not a boring old married lady who just gets a LITTLE too excited about the gym from time to time I used to celebrate St Patty’s day!! I may still eat junk food late tomorrow night though 😉 no alcohol necessary!

  3. I’m totally going to do this right now, I’m so sore! Thanks!

  4. Definitely not doing anything special for St. Patty’s Day. I’ve never really gotten into it for some reason.

    Love all those stretches!

  5. oh pigion is my FAVORITE! for the hips! I also love warrior 1 and 2 from yoga…its a great hip opener!!

    great stretches and I love your pictures!!! you look so happy + pretty 🙂

  6. Obsessed with the foam roller! I’m glad I found your blog, your turbo kick class sounds awesome 🙂 🙂

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