For a more intense stretch in the backs of your thighs and calves, try elevating your foot on a roller. But it’s important to put only your lower ankle and heel on top of the roller; this avoids any pressure on your Achilles tendon. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES STEP-1. Sit upright on the floor with your left leg straight in front of you and your left heel on top of the roller. Bend your right knee and position your right foot against the inside of your left knee (if your left knee tends to hyperextend, place your right foot directly under your left knee for support). Inhale, sit up tall and reach your arms overhead.
STEP-2. On an exhale, maintain a long spine as you tilt forward, hinging at the hips. Keep your left leg straight and rest your fingertips on the roller. Hold this stretch for 10 to 20 seconds while breathing fully. Focus on feeling the stretch in the back of your left thigh and calf. You might feel a stretch in your back and hips too. Switch legs and repeat.
Finally got that new pair of running shoes? Well, before you get down to taking them on the jogging track, here’s a piece of information—running shoes are likely to damage knees, hips and ankles.
In a study, researchers compared the effects on knee, hip and ankle joint motions of running barefoot versus running in modern running shoes.
They concluded that running shoes exerted more stress on these joints compared to running barefoot or walking in high-heeled shoes.
Sixty-eight healthy young adult runners (37 women), who run in typical, currently available running shoes, were selected from the general population. None had any history of musculoskeletal injury and each ran at least 15 miles per week.
All runners were provided with a running shoe, selected for its neutral classification and design characteristics typical of most running footwear. They observed each subject running barefoot and with shoes using a treadmill and a motion analysis system.
The researchers observed increased joint torques at the hip, knee and ankle with running shoes compared with running barefoot.
Disproportionately large increases were observed in the hip internal rotation torque and in the knee flexion and knee versus torques.
An average 54 pct increase in the hip internal rotation torque, a 36 pct increase in knee flexion torque, and a 38 pct increase in knee varus torque were measured when running in running shoes compared with barefoot.
The findings confirmed that while the typical construction of modern-day running shoes provides good support and protection of the foot itself, one negative effect is the increased stress on each of the 3 lower extremity joints.
These increases are likely caused in large part by an elevated heel and increased material under the medial arch, both characteristic of today’s running shoes.
“Remarkably, the effect of running shoes on knee joint torques during running (36pc-38pc increase) that the authors observed here is even greater than the effect that was reported earlier of high-heeled shoes during walking (20pc-26pc increase). Considering that lower extremity joint loading is of a significantly greater magnitude during running than is experienced during walking, the current findings indeed represent substantial biomechanical changes,” said lead author D. Casey Kerrigan, JKM Technologies LLC, Charlottesville, VA, and co-investigators.
Kerrigan concluded: “Reducing joint torques with footwear completely to that of barefoot running, while providing meaningful footwear functions, especially compliance, should be the goal of new footwear designs.”
Source : The study has been published in the latest issue of PM&R: The journal of injury, function and rehabilitation .
This yoga pose stretches the backs of your thighs, your outer hips and your calves. In the deeper variation, you can lengthen your spine and also feel a great stretch in the sides of your back.
STEP-1. Stand facing the front of a sturdy chair. Place your right foot forward, close to the legs of the chair. Put your hands on your hips and step your left foot back 3 1/2 to 4 feet. Turn the left foot out 30 degrees. Align your right heel with your left heel. Square your hips to the front of the chair, hinge forward at the hips and place your hands on the seat of the chair for support. Hold for 30 seconds, feeling a deep stretch in the right hamstring and left calf. STEP-2. If you want to intensify this stretch, move your hands to the top of the back rest. On an exhale, lean your torso more forward over your right leg. With your arms straight, move your shoulder blades down your back — making sure the back of your neck lines up with your spine — and look down to your right foot. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. To come out of it, return your hands to your hips and raise your torso. Repeat on the other side.
Side bends — such as the classic yoga “triangle” pose shown here — will help you stretch the muscles between the ribs called the intercostals. This move will open your chest and improve breathing capacity. You’ll feel a stretch in your hips and the backs of your legs.
STEP-1. Stand with your legs 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Hold your arms out to the sides at shoulder height. Turn your right leg out 90 degrees and turn your left leg in 15 degrees. (Your right heel should be in line with your left arch.) Inhale. On an exhale, move your hips toward the left and bend sideways toward your right leg, placing your right hand anywhere on the right shin that feels comfortable. Raise your left hand above your left shoulder. STEP-2. Lean back slightly and look up just beyond your left thumb. Keep your eyes focused there as you continue to reach your left arm overhead. Move your shoulders down away from your ears and lengthen your neck. Press the right side of your buttocks forward and pull your abdominals in toward your spine. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds while you breathe evenly.
To increase your overall body strength, with special attention on your core, incorporate this straight-legged elbow plank into your daily workouts. You don’t need any tools or equipment, so you can do it anytime, anywhere. Just remember to place your elbows directly below your shoulders when you start. This will help avoid undue tension in your neck.
Step 1 ->Begin by kneeling on a flat surface. Place your elbows directly underneath your shoulders, shoulder-width apart. Turn your palms down to the ground and be sure that your forearms are parallel to each other. Curl your toes under and straighten your knees. Lower your hips just below shoulder height. Your body should form a straight line from the back of your neck to your heels.
Step 2:-> Keeping your hips and shoulders facing the floor, shift your weight to your right leg and lift your left foot off the floor. While pushing your right heel backward, keep your right knee straight. Pull your abdominal muscles in toward your spine to support the weight of your pelvis. Draw your shoulder blades down your back, away from your ears. Do not allow your waist to sag. Hold this position for three to six breaths. Lower your left leg, shift your weight to the left and lift your right leg to repeat on the other side. Lower your knees to the floor to release.