Hi! This is Tim with MidpackRunner.com!
I’m here today to show you another stretch for the active runner. This time we’re going to be targeting the hip-flexors and the quadriceps.
This one we call Dragon Flying Low. It’s a lunge position so, again, you’re going to a lot of stretch. This one, unlike the last one, you actually have to change sides which, again, is one that I won’t show you here.
This is a stretch that you want to hold, typically, between 3 and 5 minutes [Author's Note: That's per side, not total]. So, a little longer than the last one.
As with last time, make sure that you start in – not necessarily a comfortable position – but not an uncomfortable position, as you’re going to be holding this stretch for a long time. And gravity will definitely pull you deeper into this stretch the longer that you’re in it.
So without further ado, I’ll just move on and show you the stretch here.
There are a couple of things of note with this.
For starters, I’ve got my back leg out, toes in plantar-flexion. So, pointed back toward the back of the mat.
We’re going to take the front foot (this is the important part)… When you’re in this lunge you’re not at a 90° angle here. You’re not at this acute angle. You want to make sure that you’re in a lunge, your leg is moving forward, your ankle is in front of the knee at this obtuse angle we’ve got going on here.
Then, we just want to settle down on this side, with both hand on the inside of your leg. This (high position) is where you start. If you’re having trouble with that (I get a bit of a pull in the front of the quad and in the hamstring area – I’m kind of tight there), you can always come up and rest on your knee in Dragon if you need to. That a way to lessen the stretch.
[Author's Note: Not mentioned in the video, but if you experience any discomfort in the back knee, there are two good ways to address it. The first is to simply place a folded towel under the knee itself. The second is to tuck the rear toes under, putting the foot in dorsiflexion. If neither of these addresses the knee distress, it's best to come out of the pose.]
If you feel like you’re going the other way – you’re in the starting position and it isn’t really much of a stretch – then just bring it right down to your elbows.
Make sure that your keeping your leg forward. The tendency is to slide backward.
In this position (pushing the back hip down and forward), I get a stretch through the glutes of the lunging leg, through the quad of the back leg, into the hip-flexors.
So, we’ll hold this stretch for between 3 to 5 minutes. That’s a long time, so make sure that you’re comfortable.
And, again, if you experience any pain at all, just stop. Come back out of the stretch, and resume again when you have a certified instructor who can walk you through it.
Generally speaking, after I come out of Dragon, I like to go into a downward dog to stretch things back out a bit.
So that’s Dragon FLying Low. I hope you’ll tune in next time when I’ll show you another stretch for runners.