Keep reading or watch the video below where we’ll take you through a great example of a flexibility exercise for runners (but it’s also good for non-runners too!). Over the last few weeks, we’ve explained about flexibility, why it’s important, and suggestions on how to improve your flexibility.
Flexibility is where the joint can go through its full range of movement. Joints can get stiff without you really realising. If these joints are stiff, then you won’t have the mechanical advantage of the muscles around the joint so things become less efficient.
Example of a Flexibility Exercise for Runners – Hip Internal Rotation
First, gauge normal range of movement:
The movement we’re focusing on is the rotation at the hip. The image below shows internal rotation. ‘Normal’ range expected is 45 degrees.
The image below shows external rotation. ‘Normal’ range expected is 45 degrees.
Measure your Baseline
Before you start trying to improve your flexibility, you need a baseline.
Figure out where you’re at now so you can figure out where you want to go. Be objective and measure your range of movement.
Sit in a chair in front of a mirror. The start position is shown in the image below. Draw an imaginary line down the centre of your shin.
Move your foot out to the side as shown in the image below. Again, draw an imaginary line down the shin, which will give you an angle. The example below is nearly 30 degrees.
As mentioned above, the ‘normal’ range is 45 degrees. With this example, there’s a difference of 15 degrees on that leg. This provides your goal of what to aim for.
The Flexibility Exercise
You need a theraband (stretchy band), or if you’re going to go to the gym, then the cable machine is useful. You can change the weights on the cable machine depending on how much resistance you’d like.
Tie the band in a loop and around something that doesn’t move. Put your foot through the loop. Start with the foot under your knee and then let the band bring that foot out to the side (which brings the hips into internal rotation). Return to the start position.
Repeat 10-20 times.
Give Yourself a Deadline
We would suggest four to six weeks of working on the exercise.
Aim to do this exercise every day but don’t worry if you miss a day or two!
Re-check Your Range of Movement
After your four to six weeks of working on your flexibility, you want to re-check your range of movement to see if you’re improving.
Once you’ve reached your expected range of movement, that’s when you can ease off this exercise. You know that you’ve got the best range that you can.
Remember to listen to your body. Get any aches/pains checked out sooner rather than later.
Let us know if you have any questions.
Please share this blog and video or blog with anyone you know who would benefit from improving their hip flexibility.
Next week we’ve got an easy 6-minute flexibility routine using a theraband that you can try out.
If you haven’t already read or watched our other videos and blogs in this series, you can find out more on flexibility:
As with all information given for exercises and exercise programs, when using our exercise videos or information, please use your common sense and don’t do anything that will hurt you. By performing any fitness exercises, you are performing them at your own risk. PhysioFit Health will not be responsible or liable for any injury or harm you sustain as a result of information shared on our website or YouTube channel. This includes emails, videos and text. Thanks for your understanding.