Remember these tips: - don't bounce - stay comfortable; never stretch until you have pain - count to at least 10 for each stretch (20 is better!) - don't stretch a cold muscle, warm them up first.
- stretch a little before you race and a lot after - stretch both sides of your body - stretch all the muscles you have used (upper and lower body).
The first pose is the Venus pose. Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Interlock your fingers behind your back and stretch them up as you bend forward as far as you can.
Stay relaxed and stretch more as you breathe in and out for a minute. (stretches back, shoulders, calves and hamstrings)
Next is the Down Dog pose. Start by kneeling. Place palms flat on the ground, fingers wide like starfish. Knees and hands should be hip and shoulder distance apart.
Pushing up through your feet, lift hips into the air, straight arms & legs, head pulls through the arms to look at belly (stretches glutes, hamstrings, calves, achilles, lower back, lats & shoulders).
Forward Lunge: Step forward with one leg. Bend your front knee making sure it doesn't go in front of your foot. Place hands on thigh. Push back heel towards the ground. Repeat on other side.
The Forward Lunge is a great stretch for your calves after a long race. The next stretch is the Kneeling Lunge to stretch another part of your lower body, your hip flexors!
Kneel down with your back straight. Step forward with your right foot while keeping your left knee on the ground. Put your hands on top of your right thigh.
Slide your back leg behind you until you feel the stretch in the front of the hip. To intensify the stretch, push your hip forward. To intensify the stretch even more, lift back foot off the ground.
Don't forget to switch sides!
To start the Side Pretzel, sit on the ground with your back straight and both of your legs out in front of you.
Bend one leg until the the foot of that leg is flat on the ground. From here, cross this leg over your other leg, making sure that your other leg is flat and extended on the ground.
If your left leg is bent, take your right elbow and push its against your left knee. Place your left hand behind you for support.
Push your elbow against the outside of your left knee for a count of at least 10 and switch sides. (stretches hips and hamstrings)
Half Basket: Lie on your belly. Bend one leg up. Pull your ankle toward your buttock. Repeat on the opposite side. (stretches glutes & hip flexor)
To begin the Turtle pose, sit on the ground with feet flat on the ground and knees bent.
Place arms between knees and slide hands underneath and through knees and turn palms toward the sky. Back is bent with head looking toward your belly.
Now pull up through your belly and back as if your belly button was pulling up toward the ceiling until you feel a stretch in your back. Hold. Relax your back and repeat. (stretches back & neck)
Cocoon: Sit on the ground and cross your legs. Lean forward and feel the stretch. Repeat. (stretches glutes)
Quiet Kneel: Kneel with buttocks over both heels & feet extended back. Sit down on heels with pointed toes. Hold stretch. Don't allow feet to wing out or sit between ankles. (stretches feet & ankles)
Dragon Breathing: Seated on knees with hands on knees, take slow deep breaths in through the nose and raise arms over head with eyes closed.
Slowly bring arms down as you exhale slowly and completely out of the mouth. It is important to finish your stretching with Dragon Breathing to calm your mind and body.
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