Pre-running stretches


Here, Kelly demonstrates the “super quad” stretch on a couch. Frame 1 is
variation A, which is easier, and frame 2 is variation B. I prefer to use B
on the floor in front of the couch, with my rear foot resting (ankle bent)
on top of the sitting cushions.

It’s critical to keep your spine neutral. Slightly contracting your abs, as
seen in frame 2, helps. Kelly illustrates bad form in frame 3: back
arched and abs protruding forward.


This is similar to “pigeon pose” in yoga, but using a table makes it easier
to perform and harder to cheat. Place the leg as seen in frame 1 on a
table top, knee bent 90 degrees. Lean directly forward (12 o’clock) for
90 seconds, then to both 10:00 A.M. (frame 2) and 2:00 P.M. for 90 seconds
each. Notice that one hand is placed on the foot itself for support.
If your knee bothers you, you can rotate and slide the ankle off the
table (frame 3), which is what I do. In this case, you place one hand on
the ankle for support. If you work at a computer for long periods of time,
this ankle-off version can even be used in coffee shops without making
much of a fuss. Use a pillow or books to elevate the knee if it’s still

Once you’ve finished the table “pigeon pose” on both sides, place your
foot on top of the table (less coffee shop-friendly) and lean directly
forward for 90 seconds (frame 4). Then place your hand on the inside of
the knee (frame 5) and extend your arm as you lean away from your leg
(frame 6) for 90 seconds. The foot on the table will naturally roll to its
outer edge. Repeat on the opposite side.

This is designed to put the head of the femur (thigh bone) in the back of
the hip capsule. Extended periods of time in the seated position can
move this ball into the front of the socket, causing all sorts of
mechanical mayhem and pain.

Get on all fours, knees under the hips, and remove all weight from one
knee for 90 seconds to two minutes. Next, shift your weight about 4 to
the outside of your support knee (frame 2) and rotate the foot in slightly
as shown. In frame 2, no weight is on the left leg. Hold again for 90
seconds to two minutes.

Repeat on the opposite side.

Start with ten repetitions of the double-leg glute activation seen in
“Perfect Posterior.” Be sure your feet are approximately 12″ forward of
your glutes, and make a note of how high you’re able to lift your hips.

Then perform 15 repetitions of the single-leg variation (shown below)on each side, pausing for one second at the top of each rep. It’s
important to hold your non-support thigh as close to your chest as
possible with laced fingers, while pushing hard into your hands with
your shin. This non-lifting leg should be under a hard isometric (non-
moving) contraction for the entire set. Be sure to keep the toes of the
support foot up in the air, and drive from the heels.

Once finished, test the double-leg lift again. There should be a clear
gain in hip height. If not, repeat the single-leg variety but contract
harder at the top of the movement.

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