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STRETCHES AND EXERCISES

The bottom photo is called the glute stretch, which "opens up the hips". The glute muscle is what propels you forward down the track and is the strongest muscle in the body for a trained athlete. If left unstretched, it can work against you so make sure that after running, lunging, squats or any other glute-related activity, you do the glute stretch. Start moderately by tucking your right knee under your right shoulder with left leg extended back. Start your progress with your right foot back toward the left knee. IMPORTANT: each session you do this stretch, pull your right foot forward up near the left shoulder as shown below. Go for 1/2" improvement each time. This stretch should be held for one minute on each leg every time. Your body responds to regular stretching when you are warmed up. Don't try to overdo this...or any other stretch because your body will likely REBEL and become more tight, not more loose. The goal is in 4-6 weeks, you will be doing the stretch, just like the photo below.


The exercise on the ball is called a "ball rollout". The exercise starts from the knees with hands clasped together on top of the ball. The first rollout starts with the ball about a foot from your knees. Start by pressing your hands hard together down into the ball while at the same time, start to roll the ball forward. You will find immediately that your abs engage. This is good and it is going to get even better, the further you roll the ball away from you! Initially do about 10 rollouts, sequentially rolling the ball a couple inches farther away from you each time. By the tenth rep, you may find yourself fully extended as in the photo below. The secret to this exercise is that you also have to drop your hips down and forward on each rep. If you do not do this, it will look like you are afraid to "commit" putting all of your weight on your arms and knees. But by doing so, you will engage your entire core, including obliques and back muscles. It is one of the few core exercises in which all the core gets worked.



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