Friday, August 6, 2010

Weekly Excercise Week #3

Hip Flexor Stretch
Everyone always asks me "Coach Morgan, Coach Morgan, How did you get so darn fast?" Ok, so nobody has ever asked me that, but my kids are always wanting to get faster. So I tell them "You can do it the easy way or the hard way." The first way to get faster involves a lot of running, a lot of weight training, and a lot of plyometrics (something that also should be done). But the other way to get faster is to become more flexible. Just a couple of degrees of flexibility can dramatically increase speed.

Think of running a 400 meter dash. How many steps do you take in a typical 400? The typical elite athlete will take in the neighborhood of 280-300 strides on a 400 meter dash. Now take that same elite athlete and add 1 inch to each stride. That's a 23-25 foot gain over 400 meters. Now multiply that over a marathon and you get how important stride length can be! 

So how do you increase your stride length? The first step is going to be to stretch and strengthen your hamstrings, the second will be, ta da, this exercise of the week. The hip flexor stretch. I like to call this the "speed stretch."

To stretch your hip flexor, place one knee on the ground and put your other leg out in front of you (when doing this stretch, make sure your front knee never goes past your ankle). Once you are in this position, place your hands on your hips and press your hips forward. You should feel the stretch in your upper quad and hip flexor. Take your time and ease into the stretch and hold for at least 25-35 seconds. Switch and repeat.

As with any exercise, let me know how you do the exercise and how you modify it to fit your specific needs. Plus, if you like it and how it is working/has worked for you. I know you are all disappointed not to see adorable wife pictured in this week's exercise, she hasn't been feeling up to par and I gave her the week off. I promise, she'll be back next week.


5 Miles 2 Empty said...

I am SO doing this hip flexor exercise! I neeeed this!!!

I saw your post on Mel-Tall Mom's blog about the bloggy meet up for the Tacoma You Go Girl! You are totally invited! It will be great! I am working on plans this week!! So stay tuned to my blog and Mels for details!! I hope you can come!

Cynthia O'H said...

I stumbled across your blog; you are the reverse of our house - Adorable Track Coach and Husband (I'll come up with an adjective for him; give me time). We also have two little guys who are a huge part of our running ventures.
I'm following you now.

Lindsey and Thomas said...

I love this excercise! Two half marathons ago I had really bad hip pain when walking. I found a pilates video with this stretch and now run and walk pain free. Hip flexors are a very often neglected but oh so important.