IT IS IMPORTANT TO STRETCH.
Enough said? For most, it probably isn’t. It took a painful injury to fully convince me that 30 minutes of stretching each day is crucial in long-distance running. Here are the 4 most important stretches that cured me from a hip and knee injury:
1. Quadricep Stretch- bend your knee behind you, holding your foot with your hand.
2. Iliotibial Band (ITB) Stretch- Stand near a wall for support and cross your one leg over your the other leg at the ankle. Extend your left arm overhead, reaching toward your right side.
3. Knee to Chest Stretch- Lay flat on your back. Bring your knee bended to your chest, top pointed downward. Slowly bring you knee so that points to your opposite shoulder. You should feel the stretch down the outer side of your leg and also your hip.
4. Hip Flexor Stretch using bench or bed- Lay flat on your back on a bench or bed, bringing half of your body to hang off of the edge. One leg should lay flat on the bench/bed and the other hang. With your arm that is hanging off the surface, grab your hanging foot from behind and pull back. This is very similar to the quadricep stretch, just laying on a bed. You should feel the stretch on the inner portion of your thigh.