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!
· The second stretch I’ve been working is the Pigeon. It’s a yoga pose, it’s easy and it works.
· 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.
+Lunch on a veranda
+Afternoon Lattes with whole milk
+Puffy white clouds against a bright blue sky