Happy Pinning!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Some fun nuggets for you!

I had heard about this site from Mr. Bendoeslife and I actually started a membership today.  Here is my picture, don't I look great:

Okay so maybe that's not me, I am going with it though. 

Anyways the site is http://www.mapmyrun.com/ and here is what you can do:

Enter an address, a map comes up, click on your starting point, click on each turn and the red line moves and the distance increased. I made this 2.5 mile route for my husband and I to run yesterday morning. I love being at home and having that track right by my house so that I can measure my time and distance easily and that nice spongy track is not so nasty on the joints and seems safer without those uneven sidewalks and tree debris (in this neighborhood there is a lot of tree debris, it is called Royal Oak after all!).  However I love that if you are somewhere else in the world you can just pull up a map, track it out and go! I plan on using this little nugget a lot more. 

The other thing I wanted to talk about was stretching.  Something not everyone is super good about doing.  But it's something I am die-hard about doing.  (Remember me, super paranoid she is going to get an injury lady) Even when I wasn't running or even really exercising regularly, I always stretched. I hate having achy legs and I always feel so much better when I am all stretched out.  That's why I loved when I took yoga from my friend who is certified, if I was hurting anywhere when I went I was pain-free when I left.  Wish yoga classes weren't so expensive. Sigh.  So anyways, I will give you a low down on the leg stretching routine my hubby and I are doing when we get home from running. Disclaimer: I hate hate hate that I am the one modeling some of these but as you will see my husband couldn't handle some.  I discovered during this photo session that A. Men don't realize how to carefully take pictures of women so they are flattering and B. Apparently 23 lbs down is not enough to make me comfortable in front of a camera yet.  Anyways here we go... 

First things first, hamstrings a characteristically tight muscle located on the back of your thighs.  There are many ways to stretch this muscle. There are three that I really like. If you are a person who is not overly tight you can do this one:

Sitting on the edge of the bed with one leg up on the bed, put your hands on your hips or the top of your thigh and keeping your back tall lean forward and lift the chest until you feel a good stretch behind the thigh.  Hold 20 sec and do 3 on each leg. (My husband is too tight for this one, he can't get his knee even down straight!)

So he does this one

Put one heel on a step, put your hands on your hips, keeping back very straight lean forward at the hips with chest lifted until you are again feeling a stretch behind the thigh. Also 20 sec hold 3 on each side.

Now that is fine for during the stretching routine post-exercise however some people (like my husband) need more substantial stretching. This is for the people that really need to work on this area, you know who you are!

Lay with one leg up on door frame and the other leg through doorway.  Two options either get your behind all the way up to the door frame and then stretch your knee as straight as possible and hold. Or you can keep your knee straight and then get your buttocks as close as possible to the wall. This was my poor tight husbands attempt at keeping his leg straight and getting as close as possible, he is about a foot away and his leg was already starting to bend at the knee.  And although he is faking a serene face he was nearly screaming, hurry up hurry up, it's killing me, seconds before this picture was taken.  Maybe I should stall so he has to stay there for awhile.  For someone like my husband I would recommend a good 3-5 min per leg.  Spend some time with the toe pointing straight back toward you, some time with the toes pointing out stretching the outside of the leg and the toes pointing in stretching the inside of the leg.  Also spend some time flexing the foot up and down which will add an additional stretch all the way from hip to ankle as it glides the sciatic nerve. 

Next muscle we target is the hip flexor. 

Kneel in a marriage proposal position.  Balance yourself with your hands either on your front knee or on the floor. In our land of hardwood floors we kneel on a pillow or our patella say "Ow!" Lean all the way forward until you feel a pull on the back hip.  Remember to keep hips square.  Hold 20 sec, 3 on each leg

Quads are next.  We usually do this one

Standing where you can hold on to something sturdy for balance, pull one foot up towards buttocks.  Hold 20 sec, 3 on each leg.  Be sure to keep bent thigh straight down in parallel with standing leg. 

Groin stretch, Mr tight hamstrings literally can't handle this one.

Sit with legs out in wide V position.  Sit up tall, back straight lean forward until a inner thigh stretch is felt keeping hands on floor to support a proper stretching position.  3 x 20 sec (are you noticing a trend?)

Piriformis stretch, this is a nasty little guy who lives in your behind and is sometimes the culprit for sciatic pain in the leg. Again there are many ways to do this one, a nice easy one is this.

Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, back tall. Cross one ankle over the other knee, push knee down as far as possible.  Keeping back straight lean forward with chest lifted until you feel a stretch in your buttock.  Hold 20 sec, do 3 on each side.

Another easy option

Sitting on the floor, cross one leg over the other with your knee bent.  Cross the opposite arm over to add a twist to increase the stretch.  Hold 20 sec, 3x on each leg (I bet you guessed that)

Finally the calves, this is where I am focusing a lot of my attention.  As much as I tease my husband about his hamstrings, the calves are my weakness. Remember when I talked about feet and specifically my battle with plantar fascitis.  This means tight calves.  Tight calves mean if you start running you may be feeling a little of those dreaded shin splints.  I am working very hard to prevent the soreness I get with each run to become a full blown case of this problem.  So we first do this one.

Standing with your hands against a wall or sturdy structure.  Stand with one leg back and lean toward front leg with heel down and knee straight. You are going to feel this one more at the knee, you are stretching the Gastrocnemius muscle.  Hold 20 sec.  Then bend back knee like this

And you will feel this more at the ankle by the Achilles tendon, this is stretching the Soleus muscle. Hold this for 20 sec.  Then go back and forth until you have done each one 3 x and then switch legs and repeat.
For an additional stretch I also use the stairs.

You can do one at a time or both at the same time but you stand on a step with your heels hanging off the edge of the step and drop your weight down into your heels for a stretch. Say it with me: Hold 20 sec and do 3x on each.

Whew, that was intense.  Obviously you don't have to do multiples of each muscle, you can pick which one you like best.  If you have a problem area maybe do multiples of that area.  I would also suggest doing that area more like 2-3x a day.
This concludes Stretching with Amanda! Keep loose everyone, you don't  want to come see me at work, we PT's are much crueler in our clinical setting!!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for this one! I've been a bit at a loss. You and Craig are so cute together - I bet you giggle all through the photo shoot and that he is so proud of you.