As a runner, it is not only important to log miles but it is even more important that you use any down time you have to rest, stretch and perform mobility work.
Today I wanted to share with you four key mobility drills you can do each day to improve your run game. These four key moves can be done daily along with your regularly scheduled foam rolling!
Ease tension in your hip flexors and quads which in turn can ease back pain.
Prep: Kneel on a mat facing away from a wall. Slide your left knee close to where the floor meets the wall placing the top of the foot on the wall and then position your right foot on the mat so you can rest your hands on your knee.
Movement: Try to hold this stretch for 2-minutes on each side. You want to remain upright, keep your abs engaged and avoid arching your back. If the stretch is too intense and you cannot keep good form, move your knee out from the wall a bit until your form/flexibility improves. You want to go by the position of your back and not by what you feel.
For the following exercises, you can use a tennis ball to decrease intensity or a lacrosse ball to increase it.
LAX Ball Massage for Glutes
Prep: Place the ball on the floor and sit on the ball.
Movement: Applying as much weight as you can, roll your weight over the ball feeling for hotspots. Once you locate those hot spots let the ball sit there for about 20-seconds and then add movement by keeping the ball on that spot and bending your knee and bringing your leg in to your chest four times and also dropping your knee down towards the floor four times. Do this for each hot spot. Work each side for 2-minutes.
Lacrosse Ball Massage for Feet
Ease tension in your feet and release tension in the fascia and muscles in your foot.
Prep: Position the ball under your heel.
Movement: Work the ball from your heel, through the arch and towards the toes. Be sure to roll near the inside and outside of your foot. Wrap your toes over the ball and also “smash” the tennis ball with your heel to stretch out the calf. Apply as much pressure as needed over those “hot spots”. Roll each foot for 2-minutes.
LAX Ball Massage for Hamstrings (Knee Gap Smash)
This will help to loosen up muscles behind the knee and prevent tight calf muscles and knee pain.
Prep: Place the ball behind your knee and lean back pulling your leg in towards you to squeeze the ball. (Remember to place the ball near the inside portion of your knee and outside portion)
Movement: Point, flex and move your foot in circles to increase pressure. For more pressure place one hand on your knee and the other lower on your shin to pull your leg in closer and squeeze the ball. Work each leg for 2-minutes.
What are some of your “go to” post run stretches?