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Move better. Feel Better. Run better

This is a guest post by Amber Ramga, NSCA-CPT, CSCS

Ok, I get it. You like to run. Some of you like to run far. Some of you like to run often. Some of you like to run far AND run often. Maybe, you are like me and you don’t like to run at all, but you love to sweat and the challenge that running provides.

If you are a runner, you’ve probably had an injury or two in your running history. Piriformis syndrome, pulled hamstring, patella tendinitis (or tendinosis) or even shin splints. The list goes on and on. Working with athletes (and non-athletes) has taught me that strong, mobile hips and a strong core are crucial if you want to keep running and stay injury free. These exercises aren’t just good for runners. Desk jockeys will benefit from these fab five, too.

You can go through these five exercises as a pre-run warm up or you can add them to your off days.

1. Crossbody ITB/Hamstring Stretch

Keep your core tight and shoulders away from your ears. Bring leg across your body with your leg straight. Hold each side for a brief pause then switch to the other side. Do 8-10 per side.

2. RFE Quad/Hip Flexor Stretch

Place a towel or mat under your knee. Elevate your back leg on a bench or chair. Tuck your pelvis under and keep your core tight. You should feel a stretch on the back leg- in your quad and hip flexor. Hold each side for about 30-60 sec.

3. Plank Hold

On your forearms and toes, really engage your glutes. Think of pulling your belly button towards your spine. Create as much tension as you can - imagine you are trying to pull your elbows to your toes and toes to your elbows. Make it feel hard! Squeeze!! Hold for about 5 breaths. Rest then do another set of 5 breaths.

4. Thoracic Rotation

Place a towel, pillow, foam roller or ball under your knee. Have your bottom leg extended. Lying on your side- engage your core tightly. Start to open your chest- like you are opening a book. You want to rotate from your upper back, not lower back. Keep pushing your knee into the ball. This will help keep your core braced and low back still. This is a great chest opener & upper back stretch/mobility exercise. Do 8-10 on each side.

5. Band Walks

Place an elastic band around your ankles. With your hips back, core tight and knees soft, walk to the side keeping your feet at least hip width. Do 10 steps to the right then left.

Amber Ramga, owner of The Squat Shop, is a credentialed NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), training clients in the Atlanta area since 2003. She received her Bachelor's degree from Georgia State University in Communications where she also played Div. I Volleyball. Following her collegiate career Amber moved to San Diego, CA to chase her dream of being a professional volleyball player.   

Amber loves working with all clients, from Olympic athletes to new moms getting back to pre-pregnancy weight.   Amber is a new mom to twin boys and understands first hand about getting back to pre-pregnany weight! She supports her clients in all areas of wellness.  Whether it's gaining strength, cardiovascular endurance, fat loss or just having fun, Amber is the trainer for you!  

Find me on instagram @squatshopstyle 


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