I continue to find ways to make my body move more efficiently and with yoga being more of a constant in my life, I, more than ever, listen to what’s going on. I’ve had this left hamstring twinge for a few months. I believe it was the root of my calf knot during the Philly Marathon (November 2012); running the remaining 21 miles on that leg didn’t help. Hindsight – I would have run anyway. I took time off; I stretch; I roll; I cross train. I still feel that nagging pain. So maybe a few months is actually six months.
Late last week, I had the opportunity to meet with a personal trainer for a functional movement screening. Because I’ve known this trainer for almost seven years, I felt comfortable going into it. He measured everything from range of motion to core dynamics. Turns out (shocker) that the majority of my weakness sits in my left leg and my core. We worked through some dynamic stretches I could do for my calves and gave a little insight, muscularly, as to what I needed to observe and correct. Using a resistance band, he demonstrated two movements designed to engage my core and assist with its stability.
Finally, we rolled. Almost two years ago I purchased a foam roller for twenty bucks. The internet, as always, provided me with enough information about specific movements to aid in myofascial release. I rolled after longer runs and, along with ice baths and BioFreeze, the roller became my go-to during marathon training. Confident I could handle the last set of movements, I sat on the roller to work my glutes. He had me shift ever so slightly to the right and I swear I saw stars. A sensation of warmth shot up my back and down my right leg. I yelped in surprise. That, he stated, was my sweet spot. With each glute roll I needed to find that groove and work it out. I fearfully shifted to my left (the weaker of the two) and breathed through each pass. A similar scenario developed with the remaining two exercises – I knew the movement, but wasn’t able to find the spot without a little coaching. At the end of the hour session, my legs were joyfully throbbing. Since that appointment, I have been applying what I learned to my now daily, rolling routine. With a half marathon next Sunday, I plan to warm up with some rolls and kick this road race in the glute.