In part four of my series of sharing fitness tips, I bring to you another simple but vital stretch I do to keep my legs loose. I have been doing these regularly especially since I have changed my orthotic inserts in my running shoes. The stretching is helping with my adaptation.
I’ve been working with Michael Collins, London’s best sports therapist (in my opinion anyway!), for three years now. Triathlete, multiple Ironman, friend and supporter of mine, Michael’s insights and tips have been invaluable for me. Although they may seem simple and intuitive, when I do these regularly I really feel the difference in my sense of movement and fluidity.
Michael and I work through these stretches each time I see him. I will post the full series of stretches of all muscles involving the knee. This is the fourth stretch, there are eleven stretches we do in this series. We have upgraded the series to now show proper photos – Mr Stick Figure Man will make his return when we return to stretches that I can actually draw!
Adductor Stretch (Part 2)
Stretches: Gracilis, Pectineus, Adductor Magnus, Longus and Brevis
Contracts: Gluteus medius, minimus, TFL, Sartorius
1. Lay on your back, legs straight.
2. Unlike Stretch #3, rotate the entire leg 45 degrees outwards from the hip. But only 45 degrees – no more.
2. Using a stretch band, pull the leg to the outside (spreading the leg out) as far as possible, keeping the rotation constant.
3. To enhance the stretch, the non-active leg can be placed over the side of the couch/bench/bed.
4. Return to the center, and repeat.
Repeat 10 times, doing 2 sets of 10, on each leg. Make sure to fully release each time you stretch. Hold the stretch no more than 2 seconds a time – this is the active nature of using active isolated stretching.
Note: You can also see in the photo that sometimes using a belt (to strap you onto a table or bench) can be useful to prevent rotation or movement of the hips. This really works for me. I think these belts can be purchased on most physiotherapy sites. Or I guess seatbelts can be reclaimed from cars, right? I do my stretches at home on a bench so the belt is easily used. I also do these on my bed in the evening.
Good luck and let me know how you get on.