Stretch Hamstring (Stretch Armstrong)

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I really need to be stretching more, both before and after my runs.  Over the past few months, my distance running has led to some pretty irritated hamstrings, and as a result my pace is affected.  I have really spent some time doing some research on the best stretches that I should be doing to help the cause.  I have found a lot of useful information during my research, and have incorporated simple and more complex stretching into my daily routines.

I am not one to spend fifteen minutes just doing a series of stretches, as I find this incredibly boring.  What I have done however, is incorporate several hamstring stretches into my daily routines.  I turn normal activities like sitting on the couch into a stretch.  Instead of laying my legs to the side, I sit up straight and prop my legs up on the coffee table.  I lean slightly forward and do mini stretches while watching TV.  Or, while playing a game on my IPad, or while blogging, I stand up straight, and bend at the hip, stretching my hammies while typing away while the IPad is on the countertop.  I find that doing stretches while I make my way through the day doing regular activities makes the stretching more tolerable.

I found that as I age, my aches and pains associated with running are becoming more frequent.  Hard effort usually results in more lengthy recovery time.  I can’t just lace up and run like those young 20 somethings do.  I don’t just walk away from a run or race feeling non-affected. I need recovery, and stretching has really helped.  I just need to continue to put focus on this.

My birthday is coming up this weekend, and guess what?  I don’t have a foam roller.  I’ve only ever used one once.  Are you a believer in foam rollers?  What can you share about your experiences with them, and is there one that you would recommend?  Do they really help? Do you think it would help with my hamstrings?  Maybe I need put one on my wish list.  Please share…..

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9 thoughts on “Stretch Hamstring (Stretch Armstrong)

  1. I am similar to you in how boring I find stretching; I don’t do it enough because of that.

    The roller is probably the best purchase I have made for recovery. I use it for every place that can get tight from swim/bike/run and even to warm up my muscles before a stretch in the evening. I have the ‘travel roller’ which is actually plastic with a thing layer of foam on top. Gets intense sometimes.

      • I had a couple actual foam ones, but I wore them out. They ended up being useless after a while – would get warped and dented from my use of them. That’s why I switched to the Trigger Point one. It’s pretty hardcore. There’s basically pvc pipe on the inside with a layer of foam around it. I’ve also heard of people going to the hardware store and picking up some pvc pipe to use as a roller. That’d be the cheapest choice! The local running stores and my gym also have some on hand that they let me use. Could be an option.

  2. I love my foam roller, but ironically don’t use it much for running. I use it more for my back. I need to stretch more too though, and I’m sure my tight hammies are why my back gets tight…go figure!

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