Fitness Friday :: Week Fourteen

Fitness Friday4

Exercise often leads to being sore and tight.  Taking a few minutes to stretch after exercise feels so good and really helps to loosen tight muscles.  I know that it is super important to stretch but am often guilty of not taking the time to do so. 

In week nine I shared my favorite stretching tool, a calf stretcher.  I had to delete the post due to a technical difficulty, so I’ll repeat a bit of the information that I shared.

I tore my gastrocnemius a few years back and part of my therapy included calf stretches.  One tool that the therapist had that I felt like a must for me was this calf stretcher:
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I keep this by the door on the porch so that it is handy to use after running or tennis.  Rocking back on the stretcher gives my calves a deep stretch that feels so good.
Calf

A yoga strap is another handy stretching tool.
yoga strap

Runners often have very tight hamstring muscles and the strap helps to loosen them a bit.  After stretching the hamstring, I pull my leg straight out to the side to stretch my inner thigh and then pull it over the other way to stretch my IT band and lower back.  Sometimes I am rewarded with an “it feels so good” back crack when I pull my leg over.
Yoga stretch

Year ago at a marathon expo, I bought a massage stick.  These are great for rolling over calves, hamstring, quads, IT band, lower back, and shoulders.
massage stick

I’ve had to slow my exercise down for the past two weeks because of a super tight hamstring.  Despite stretching, massaging, and then stretching and massaging more, I could not get relief.  I finally wised up and went to the physical therapist.  It ends up that my pelvis was out of line which caused by hamstring to be tight.  The therapist pulled on my leg in a special way causing me to feel an internal pop and shift that felt so good and gave instant relief!  My hamstring is still weak, but it feels much better.  My pelvis was out of line last August which caused me to have terrible lower back pain.  The moral to my story is to seek help when you’ve had a nagging pain for more than a couple of weeks.  My pelvis is still not staying in the correct place as I now have a small amount of lower back pain.  I’m hoping to be “normal” very soon! 

Happy Friday and Happy Exercising!

3 Comments

  1. Stupid pelvis! Hope it finds it way back soon so you can get back to what you love doing. 🙂 Nice tips and a great reminder to stretch. This is quite timely for me as I overdid it mulching yesterday and am feeling it today. Had I stretched a bit before bed I know I wouldn’t be as bad today. I’ll learn the lesson when I’m back at it today. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Texas Cottage and leaving a comment.
    I have never heard of a calf stretcher. Sounds like a great gift idea for my active sons. Thanks for the tips.

  3. I’ve never used a massage stick – I bet it would feel great – in my class, we use foam rollers to massage out sore muscles, and it’s something I look forward to each week.

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