"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Friday, October 26, 2018

The D***ed Fours

The later ones in this series are tough, so do the others as a warm-up.

First, the figure 4 squat. Balancing is easier on your dominant leg.

Then the reclined ("dead") pigeon, also called eye-of-the-needle. Use one leg to push the other toward your chest, then pull tighter with your hands.
From this position, straighten the one leg and pull the other to your chest for the "wind-relieving pose." I prefer to keep the leg bent in the "4" position, but I can't find a photo of anyone doing it! If you pull the knee toward the opposite shoulder, this used to be called the "baseballer stretch," because you'd always see ball players doing it. I mention this because it's similar to a position I'll describe soon, but turned upside-down.

From here, the cross-over glute stretch:
Now on to the first tough one, the ankle-to-knee or "firelog" pose. It looks easy, but I couldn't do it at first. After a week, I could barely do it and then it became easy. You sit with one leg bent horizontal in front of you and then place the other leg's ankle on top of the first leg's knee:
Assuming you can get somewhat close to that pose, then reach forward:

Lastly, the stretch almost no runners can do properly. I couldn't do it, worked on it for weeks and then could do it, then stopped doing it and now can't do it again. Get as close to the correct position as you can in the one-legged king pigeon pose:
I find it helps to brace the front leg by holding the foot and knee. Once you get as close as you can to doing it, move your hips in each direction and you'll feel different stretches. Finally, lean forward from that position... assuming you can.

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