Before hitting the road on your next run, take a few minutes to make sure your hips and hamstrings are up for the challenge. Though all that forward momentum is great when you’re trying to push through those last few miles, flexing and extending your hips in the same plane/range of movement can result in stiffness in the sides of the hips, as well as the outer hamstrings. You can help remedy this with a pre-run pose to encourage the muscles of your hips and hamstrings to think outside the box (think moving side-to-side, instead of front-to-back). Try it: Side lunge flow
This pose mobilizes the hips and hamstrings, while getting the body moving outside of its habitual range, and training the knees to stabilize over your ankles.
- Come into a standing forward fold, with the feet wide apart and parallel, bending your knees as much as you need to get your hands to the ground
- Lengthen your spine forward so that your torso is parallel to the ground
- Slowly bend your right knee — tracking it over the ankle — until you feel the stretch up the outside of the right leg and lean toward the right, as you lengthen the inseam of your left leg (left leg stays straight, but without locking the knee)
- Hold for three deep breaths, keeping your weight back toward your heels
- Switch sides... Then try flowing side to side with your breath — inhale to straighten both legs, exhale to bend one knee, inhale back to center, exhale to the other side…
Preface this flow with last week’s pose, wide leg forward fold, and you’ll really be good to go!