For those training for the Boston Marathon or an upcoming spring marathon we can be happy to say that the “monster month” of peak training is complete! Yay! Your last long run is over and now you can allow your body to recover and rest by steadily decreasing your mileage over the next couple of weeks (recommend to drop mileage 20% each week).
However, you might be left with some tightness and in some pain from all the miles, especially in and around the knees and the outer hips. It’s more important than ever to make sure you’re stretching and keeping your body relaxed.
Here are some of my favorite stretches that will give those IT bands some love which is most likely causing tightness in the outer hip area as well as around your knees. Let me know what you think and feel free to leave your comments/questions below! Cheers & Namaste!
Start off in downward dog. Bring your right knee to your left elbow and extend your right leg behind your left wrist like a kick stand. Lower your right hip down to the ground and center your chest forward and down. Repeat to the other side.
1/2 Pigeon Pose
From Downward dog, bend your right knee and place it behind your right wrist. Straighten your left leg behind you and walk your left toes all the way back to the back of your mat to lower your hips down. Bring your right hip a little further back and pull your left hip forward. If your right hip is lifted place a block, blanket or pillow under it for support and then fold over your right shin. Switch sides.
*If this pose is too intense and/or you feel any pain in your knee or sharp radiating pain down your leg, come to figure 4 (which is shown below).
Take the right leg and place the ankle above your left knee on the thigh. Hug your left thigh in towards you by placing your hands around the hamstring or shin. Activate both your feet. As shown here, you can rest the sole of the left foot on the wall. This will take the pose a little deeper and will also allow the legs to relax a bit more. Switch sides.
Half Split IT Band Variation
From your 1/2 split (come into low lunge with left knee on the floor and straighten your right leg), place the razor edge of your right foot on the ground and walk your hands over to the right. Flex the right toes to turn the stretch on and feel free to bend the right knee to soften the pose. Switch sides.
From your low lunge, place both of your hands and shoulders to the inside of your right foot. Feel free to stay on your hands or to come all the way down on your forearms or use blocks. Repeat to the other side.