Frog Stretch

Instructions

  1. Bend down on the ground and spread your knees apart
  2. Your feet should follow your knees expanding
  3. Place your hands on the ground in front of you and begin to lean forward in between your hands.
  4. Your head should be in a comfortable position, either on the ground (if you can stretch that deep) or lay a pillow on the ground in between your hands
  5. Hold this position of 30secs-1mins, relaxing your muscles so your can sink deep into the stretch
  6. Repeat this 1-3x

Purpose

  • A great stretch of your back
  • Open hip joints, which reduces strain on the knees
  • This pose stretches on your adductors and glute medius muscles that help build the tendons around the knee

Tip

  • Don’t forget to breathe deep and not push your muscles past pain.
  • You should feel a smidge of discomfort if your muscles are tight, but never hold a position too long or suffer through deep pain.
  • Overstretching can also cause damage so it’s best to find that happy medium spot and hold it till you feel you got in a good stretch.

IT Band Stretch

Instructions

  • Lie flat on the ground and wrap a rope or a theraband around your right foot
  • Keep your right leg as straight as you can locking your knee, drop your leg to the side until you feel a deep stretch to your ITB
  • Hold that stretch for 30-1mins, relax
  • Repeat this 2-3 times
  • Switch legs

Purpose

  • The iliotibial (IT) band is a thick band of fascia that runs deep along the outside of your hip and extends to your outer knee and shinbone.
  • IT band syndrome (Runner’s Knee), occurs from overuse and repetitive movements, which can lead to pain, irritation, and inflammation in your knee and surrounding tendons.
  • Stretching the ITB Improves flexibility and prevents injuries

Tip

If you don’t like using a rope or a theraband, consider doing this exercise against a wall

  • While maintaining a straight leg, drop your right foot so it just touches the wall and feeling a good stretch on your ITB.
  • Slowly “walk up the wall” with your toes.
  • The higher you are able to go up the wall, the more stretch you will feel on your ITB
  • Make sure you keep your left leg straight and flat on the ground!

Intense Quadriceps Stretch

Instructions

  • Start in your child pose on a yoga mat but sitting upright, foot flex and underneath your buttocks
  • Get comfortable in the starting position
  • Place your hands behind your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping them on the ground.
  • Keep your spine in a neutral position
  • Tuck your pelvis and push your hips up.

Purpose

  • Your quadriceps help with knee motion (rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius and vastus lateralis) (straighten and bend your knee joint)
  • Our quads muscles can easily become inflamed, painful, and tight with frequent use
  • Overcompensation from a quad issue can cause knee pain (“runner’s knee”)

Tip

Beginner: Lean on one hips to another, shifting your weight side to side. Lean on the side with the tighter quads more.

Intermediate: Drop to your elbows

Advanced: Go all the way down to the ground hands to your side

  • This stretch also works on your ankle plantar flexion mobility
  • This is especially desirable after your long runs
  • To make this easier, keep your ankles slight outside of your buttocks and/or do it on a mattress

Internal Hip Rotation Stretch

Instructions

  • Initial Stretch (Warm Up)
    1. With both legs on the ground, lift your left leg towards you.
    2. Move the bent leg further to the side keeping your foot on the ground.
    3. Drop your left knee to the ground, allow your thigh to be parallel to the other leg when dropped.
    4. Lie back flat on the ground while maintaining your foot position
    5. Keep your back to the ground (don’t arch!)
    6. Drive your left inner thighs close to the ground without lifting your glutes off the ground.
    7. Lift your other foot off the ground and place your right foot on the outside of your left knee.
    8. You should not feel any strain on your left knee
    9. Let gravity take over and hold the position for ~2mins.
  • Active Stretch
    1. Use your left leg and apply your greatest resistance to your right foot for 10-15s.
    2. Let go of the tension on your left leg on an 8-count. Your left leg will drop further to the ground.
    3. Apply some pressure with your right foot and drive your left knee closer to the ground without lifting your glutes and keeping back off the ground.
      • If you can squeeze your palm between your spine and the ground, you aren’t keeping your back on the ground!
    4. Hold for 10-15s, and slowly release that tension over another 8-count.
  • Repeat the Active Stretch portion 2-3 times.
  • Switch Leg and repeat this exercise once more.

Purpose

  • If you think about all of the hip stretches, people usually focus on external hip rotation, but that only solves half of the hip-opening equation because you should be incorporating internal rotation of hips, too.
  • By stretching out your hips in both directions, you’ll be moving your pelvis through its full range of motion which improves overall hip mobility
  • Prevents lower back injuries
  • Activate your glutes during your gait cycle

Tip

Advanced: Raise your bent foot further up closer to your glutes making it harder for your bent knee to reach the ground.

External Hip Stretch

Instructions

  • Start in the 90/90 position
    • Sitting on the ground place your right leg at a 90deg pattern (Exterior Hip Rotation), and your left leg at a 90deg (Interior Hip Rotation)
    • Make sure your legs and ankles are pinned to the ground
    • Both hands on the ground shoulder-width apart.
    • The right leg and right thighs should be in parallel to each other and feeling some tension is perfectly normal.
  • Front Hip Stretch (External Hip Rotation Stretch)
    1. To stretch those front hips, extend your spine and lean slightly to the left forward (stretching your hips), rather than pushing yourself into the ground (stretching your back).
    2. Tightening your abs as you lean forward.
    3. Create as much tension as possible downwards on your right knee, keeping your spine flat.
    4. If done correctly, you should feel a much deeper stretch.
    5. Hold this position of ~1mins (in through the nose, out through the mouth), breathe deeply, and relax.
  • Back Hip Stretch (Internal Hip Rotation Stretch)
    1. Put your hands behind you with your back straight, while holding the 90/90 position.
    2. Push your both knees down to the ground
    3. Keep your chest upright.
    4. Hold this position of ~1mins (in through the nose, out through the mouth), breathe deeply, and relax.
  • Switch legs to complete this exercise.
  • Do 2-3 repetition of this exercise

Purpose

  • People with limited mobility in the hips have compromised spine biomechanics which will lead to back pain over time.

Tip

Intermediate: Explore getting a even deeper stretch by leaning forward further towards your ankles.

Posterior Hip Stretch – Hip Mobility Drill

Instructions

  • On all fours, move your left leg over your right leg.
  • Keep your left leg (front leg) pointing forward and straight avoiding the exterior rotation of your front leg to keep the focus on the posterior
  • Hold the position for 10-15sec and relax.
  • Alternate legs and do repeat this exercise 3-5 times. 

Purpose

  • Thigh bones can sometimes not be fully be inside the hip socket. Use your body weight and gravity to restore proper mobility.
  • Hip impingement relief for those who sit in the office all day!

Tip

Beginner: To get deeper into the stretch, moving your hind leg further back

Intermediate: Rock to one side to deepen the stretch

Advanced: Drop your elbows to get everything out of the stretch

Hamstring Rope Stretch

Instructions

  • Lie flat on the floor with a rope or elastic band wrapped around your left foot
  • Keeping a straight leg, raise your left leg up 90deg while keeping the other leg on the ground.
  • Hold this position between 20-30secs, and relax.
  • Alternative your legs
  • Repeat this exercise 3-5 times.

Purpose

  • Keeping your hamstrings loose and release tension developed from endurance running.

Tip

Beginner: If you are unable to raise your leg to 90deg (due to lack of flexibility), bend your right leg and keep your foot on the ground before raising your left leg.

Advanced: To make the exercise harder, put the rope/band on your toes to get a great calf stretch.