the magic stretches (for running) (for me, at least)

I think my friend Tracy nailed it when she said I’m less about helping that person who wants to improve her mile time, and more about encouraging that person who cannot run a mile.

But, the thing is, I accidentally improved my mile time, and I thought you may want in on the “secret.”

I think I may get bursitis in my hips.  It’s only happened like three times, but it feels like a pretty superb ache deeeep in my hips, on either side, and it just sort of shows up.  And then I’m hobbling around and avoiding driving because it hurts when I get out of my vehicle.  And I don’t want to go to a doctor.  I don’t want any imaging or pain medication or to be sent here and then there.  Last year I finally started Googling hip stretches, and doing them religiously, because why not? And I haven’t had any of the hip pain recently, and I really don’t know if the stretches have or will help with all that or not.

OK, but what I do know is that my strides have gotten longer when I run, and I don’t feel like I have a thick rubber band around my hips anymore.  These are the magic stretches:

Some variation of a yoga “pigeon”:

pigeonpose{via here}

I like to lean waaaay forward, though, with my forehead on the floor when I do pigeon.  Probably cause I’m tired.

And some variation of the yoga “lizard”:

lizardpose{via here}

And then there’s my personal favorite.  Seriously, I love this.  It’s a great psoas stretch:

psoasstretch{via here}

And I like popping my shoulders back while doing that one because then I get the double benefit of a good psoas stretch along with the chest opener.

And this piriformis stretch is a good add-on:

Piriformis-Stretch{via here}

I think the key is to just delicately work toward those stretches, and while doing them breathe deeply and relax into them. Doing these just makes me feel more “bendy” and like I can reach farther with my legs when I run.

And…that’s that.

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