Sometimes when we run, our leg doesn’t extend back far enough before swinging forward again. As a result, we lose power and sometimes balance – as well as speed. Over time this could even cause injury. Below is a quick program from Runners World that can help stretch your hips, decrease the chance of injury, and improve your run!
KNEELING HIP-FLEXOR STRETCH
Step into a lunge position, and lower your back knee to the ground. Keep your upper body straight while you tilt your pelvis forward. Hold for one minute, release, and repeat two more times. Then switch to the other leg.
Pull in your right knee, holding it against your chest. Keeping your head and shoulder blades on the floor, push up with your left leg into a bridge position while keeping your right leg against you. Push up, keeping the pelvis level, then lower yourself down. Do 12 to 15, then switch legs. Do 3 sets on each side.
With your head, shoulders, and both feet on the floor, push up into a bridge position. While up, begin “marching”-alternate lifting each foot about 1-inch off the ground, while keeping your pelvis steady and facing straight up. Do 3 sets of 20 marches (10 on each leg), with a short break between each set.
Bend and lift your left leg in front of you, then swing it back behind you as far as it will reach without moving your pelvis or lower back. This is the running motion you want to have-hip extending back, pelvis and lower back neutral (not arched). Do two sets of 20 swings with each leg, alternating legs with each set.
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