Tight Hamstrings and Calves
- Could be due to tight hamstrings
the glutes forget how to contract, causing the hamstrings and calves to overwork.
- Sitting longer periods on the bike could be a trigger for this.
- Stand up tall.
- Raise your left leg so that your left knee is above your hip, bending your knee.
- Hold for 10 seconds.
- Do you feel your right glute working along with your left hip flexor (the muscle dead center in the front of your left hip),
- Do you feel the burn in the outside of your left hip (TFL, or tensor fascia latae)?
- If you feel anything other than described (right glute, left hip flexor) your body is compensating for a weakness
Foam rolling 10 minutes before bed every night
Stretch Hip Flexors
- Stand up straight with your arms at your side.
- Place your hands on your hips or on your forward knee.
- Take a step forward with your right foot so you are standing in a split stance.
- Lower your right knee so it is at a 90-degree angle.
- Your left leg is extended straight back behind you.
- Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.
- Release and repeat on the other side.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
For a deeper stretch, try the kneeling hip flexor stretch. You’ll need an exercise mat or soft surface to do this stretch.
- On a yoga mat or exercise mat, kneel on both knees. Your bottom should be on the heels of your feet with the balls of your feet pressed firmly against the mat.
- Lean forward and press your palms to the mat. Hands should be shoulder-width apart and elbows should be bent slightly to prevent them from locking.
- Bring your left knee forward through the gap between your arms and place your left foot flat on the mat in front of you, creating a 90-degree angle.
- Straighten your upper body and place both of your hands on your left knee in front of you for support and balance.
- Extend your right leg behind you. Your right knee should be pressed into the mat and the top of your right foot is rested on the mat.
- Lean forward slightly to deepen the stretch. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
- Exit the stretch and repeat on the other side.
Seated Butterfly Stretch
The seated butterfly stretch is a basic stretch that opens up the hips, thighs, and groin.
- Begin in a seated position with your legs in front of you.
- Grab your ankles and bring your feet closer to your groin. If needed, do this one leg at a time.
- Bring both feet together so the bottoms of your feet are touching.
- Continue to hold your ankles with your hands while using your elbows to press down on your knees.
- Apply gentle pressure to the knees so they get closer to the floor.
- Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds before releasing and repeating if needed.
Basic bridges are often used as glute exercises, but they can also be used to help open up the hips.
- Lie on your back on an exercise mat or soft surface. Keep your hands at your sides and your knees bent.
- Raise your hips. Your shoulders and feet should be flat on the floor, creating a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
- When you reach the top of this stretch, lift one foot off the floor at a time. This causes the hips to flex.
- Hold for 20-30 seconds. Then switch to the other side.
Lying Hip Flexor Stretch
- Lie flat on the ground. Your legs should be stretched out with your toes pointed up. Keep your hands at your sides.
- Bend your left knee and slowly bring it to your chest. As your knee draws nearer, wrap both of your hands around your knee.
- Gently pull your knee as close to your chest as possible. To make the stretch more challenging, straighten your leg and pull it closer to you with a resistance band. Rotate your hips to deepen the stretch.
- Hold for 20-30 seconds.
- Release the stretch and repeat on the right side.
Reclined Hip Stretch
The reclined hip stretch is also known as the Figure Four Piriformis Stretch.
- Lie on your back on a yoga mat. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor.
- Bring your right knee closer to your chest, lifting your right foot off the mat.
- Bring your left knee up and rotate your left leg outward at the hip. Rest your left ankle on your right thigh above the knee.
- Deepen the stretch by grasping your hands behind your right thigh and pulling gently. You should feel this stretch in your left hip.
- Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Low Lunge Twist Stretch
This low lunge twist stretch opens up the hips and low back.
- Start in a forward lunge position. Your right leg should be forward.
- Drop your left knee to the ground so your shin and the top of your left foot are pressed against the floor.
- Gently press your right elbow into the inside of your right knee. Twist your torso to the left. As you twist to the left, extend your left arm behind you.
- Hold for 20-30 seconds.
- Release the stretch and repeat on the other side.