For the immediate future we will continue with our focus on the lower body in preparation for this years Bridge to Brisbane. Of course if you are training for a running event you should not restrict all your stretching to your legs and lower body, to perform at your best you need to keep your entire body stretched and supple. I simply thought a brief focus on some varied and proven stretches for your low back and legs would help keep more of you running. Always Remember - thorough stretching is the key to continued performance ... fail to stretch properly and thoroughly, and you risk missing your event through pain that could have been avoided if you had stretched ... simple!
The stretch for today focuses mainly on the muscles of the lower back. It looks very similar to the stretch from Week #13, but that stretc focuses on the muscles of the buttocks (the hip rotators). You can certainly do both of these stretches while in the same starting position, but always remember that they are not the same, and they target different muscles. As you do these stretches, the differences between them will become very obvious, just be sure to remember which stretch you are doing and don't blend them together. If you do blend them into 1 stretch you will end up doing neither stretch correctly or effectively and in essence just be wasting your time.
Don't ever under estimate the importance of stretching and the benefits it holds.
The muscles being stretched here run along your spine, and attach from the ribs to the pelvis. Leaving your ribs flat against the floor while rotating yourn pelvis will create sufficient tension to stretch them effectively. Be aware that it may or may not feel like a stretch, but it will almost certainly feel good. This is another one of those stretches that you can hold as long as you like and just relax into the position and breather naturally. Just make sure you do not move too quickly or sharply and all is good.
This stretch is beneficial to anyone recovering from a Lower Back Muscle Strain, a Lower Back Ligament Sprain, and even Iliotibial Band Syndrome.
Always remember that while stretching may be recommended to aid recovery out of injury, you should always be very careful when stretching through rehabilitation. Your soft tissues are likely to be more vulnerable to re-injury if you stretch too much or too hard during this time. Always check with your Health Care Professional who is guiding you through your recovery to make sure it is appropriate to start stretching, and please -ALWAYS FOLLOW THE RULES FOR SAFE STRETCHING (The first posting on this stretching blog).
Image taken from "Neck Back and Core Stretches" wall chart by B. Walker.