Friday, September 6, 2013

Even Gumby has to Stretch.

 
Gumby, yes the little green super flexible guy, was my sport nickname when I was growing up because I could do back bend walkovers, straddles, splits, the pretzel, full upright leg extensions, you name it.  Flexibility has never been an issue for me and it still isn’t , but I have noticed that I need to stretch a lot more to maintain my flexibility. 
 
After lots of research, I have diagnosed myself with a strained IT band and believe the causes are not just from running a half marathon, but that coupled with my desk job and lack of extensive stretching.  Sitting allows your hips to tighten.  I always stretch my hips, but I rarely stretched my IT band and that was my big mistake.  I always felt the pain in the front of my hip, so I would rotate my hip out and loosen it up that way, but in addition to that, I should have been focusing on my IT band for sure.  It’s an extremely common injury in runners and cyclists.  Granted, I do not cycle, but I have been running a lot and I overlooked that band for sure. 

Since this revelation, I have been doing a few stretches that focus on my IT band.

·        First of all, I’ve been rolling my thigh with a foam roller and holy cow it was tight.  The first few times I did it, I literally couldn’t get through it without my eyes tearing up.  It was bad.  This morning was the first time that I rolled it and it actually wasn’t excruciating.  Praise the Lord!  I am making progress! 
foam roller, foam roller-1
 

·         The second stretch I’ve been working is the Pigeon.  It’s a yoga pose, it’s easy and it works.
Source: http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/863

·         The third stretch is a super common stretch and isn’t as effective, but it can be done standing up which means I can do it at work which means I am I using it.  Being able to stretch at work is vital for this leg of mine.  Basically, you stand with your “right/hurt” leg straight and you cross your other leg over it and either bend to the left or straight down. 

·         Finally, I’m doing this complicated stretch that can be found here:
 
For the worriers out there, I will be going to the doctors next week because I want to make sure that my self-diagnosis is correct.  I am 99% sure it is, but heaven forbid I am wrong and not fixing my knee.  I like my knees and really want to keep them in good shape. 
 
SPIL
+Lunch on a veranda
+Afternoon Lattes with whole milk
+Puffy white clouds against a bright blue sky
 
Much love.

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