I might have mentioned that I was going to have a practice in December for my New Years resolutions ie my more holistic approach to running and exercise. Well I did, and it went quite well, but I did wonder how sustainable it was going to be when I went back to work ( I had 2weeks of annual leave).
T he most amazing discovery was waking up one morning without back pain. These days I find that I generally wake up with quite a stiff and immobile back and I have to ease myself into movement. How was this relief achieved?
it could have been 2weeks of not driving, sitting at a desk or wearing high heels. It could have been more rest ( I did some serious sleeping!), it could have been more variety in my exercise choices. It could have been doing more stretching with exercises for my back and foam rolling.
Now. The foam roller. Not as easy as it looks in those you tube videos/ magazine articles. You need to be able to hold yourself in a plank or reverse plank or side plank to roll out your quads/ hamstrings/glutes and to be able to control your body weight through your arms. That’s probably Ok if you have a body of brushed steel but not so easy if your composition is more in the line of lumpy porridge.
Being Christmas and all I did spend a fair bit of time playing on the floor with toys (I did invite the child to join me now and then) and watching sentimental Christmas movies. This also gave me a bit of time to mess around with the foam roller and stuff. What I discovered is
1 if you do your quad stretches lying on your side with the opposite hip flexed, you won’t arch your back and you can get a proper stretch ( top tip from a running magazine)
2 if I park the foam roller under my bum when lying on the floor, then do my back exercises ie circling my bent knees together, or bicycling type action, I seem to get a lot more mobility in my Lower back without any discomfort.
3 If I move he foam roller a bit higher up and just roll from side to side ( with my knees bent) I can get a good massage of my ‘quadratus lumborum’ where it attaches to the hips and that helps a lot with stiffness.
I’m not suggesting that this will work for everyone, but just that playing around a bit and trying some of those stretches in the magazines etc can help you to work out what’s right for you.
Anyway this post was prompted by the fact that last night I didn’t do any stretching after my row and woke up very stiff this morning! So instead of going to park run I got up and did a foam rolling /stretching session. After that I went for a run, 3.7 miles and this time I did my stretches afterwards!