Attention half and full marathoners, and all endurance junkies! After a LR, we’re guessing you go straight for your hammies by hitting up a forward fold, or your quads by bending your knee and reaching back to grab your foot — or you skip the stretching all together in favor of runger mitigation… can’t say we blame you. However, what really needs some lovin’ post-pavement pounding is your side body.
Because running is so forward-oriented and reliant on the muscles in the front and back of your bod (hence the natural instinct to hit up the hammy/quad stretch combo), the muscles that live on your side body can easily become stiff and stuck together, kind of like Velcro. Fail to address this “stuckness” from the top of your IT bands, through your outer hips, and all the way up your side waists, and you will be doing the zombie walk.
While we usually recommend a combo of active and passive stretching to sustain balance, longer holds of more restorative poses are particularly effective after a 13+ mile output. So, post-race or workout, hit up this passive side stretching sequence, which will help your sides — an as a result your entire bod — return to a state of equanimity and aid your recovery.
Slow down and breathe deeply so that your body has time to respond — hold each pose for 10+ deep breaths…
1. Come onto your left hip and straighten your left leg while you lean your weight onto your left hand — your leg/hip/shoulder should all be in a straight line.
2. Set your right foot to the floor in front of your left thigh, so that your right knee points toward the ceiling.
3. Let your left shoulder move toward your left ear, while you keep your shoulder blade moving toward the center of your upper back.
4. You should feel a gentle “pull” all the way down your left side — if that’s too intense, lower onto your left forearm.
Pinwheel Side Bend
1. Sit down and bend your knees, staggering your left leg in front of your right so that it makes a “pinwheel” shape, with a little bit of space between your left foot and your right knee.
2. Rest your right hand on your right ankle and reach your left arm overhead.
3. Side bend your torso to the right.
1. Keep your legs in a “pinwheel” shape with both feet flexed.
2. Sit up tall and turn your torso toward your left thigh, and lie down on top of it.
3. When you think you’ve found your resting point, try to lengthen your spine even more, as if you’re pulling your ribs further away from your hips.
4. Relax your shoulders and let your torso rest heavy on your thigh — if that’s too intense, rest your torso further to the left of your left leg.
1. Keep your left leg bent and straighten your right leg, bringing your left foot to your right inner thigh.
2. Sit up tall, reach your left arm overhead, and side bend your torso toward your straight leg — try to keep your chest pointing forward, rather than flopping toward the floor.
3. Keep the foot of your straight leg flexed, and your bent leg heavy against the floor.
Want to learn more ways to Hit Reset? Join the Reset Revolution at jasyoga.com!