Two Moves to Bulletproof Your Back and Knees

Man Stretching
Georgijevic / Getty


You’re mentally prepared
for your upcoming
obstacle course race
. Ready to jump over the pit of flames.
Ready to crawl through mud during a downpour. Ready to scale a wall
of any size. But are your back and knees ready, too?

Like any sport involving intense running and jumping, OCR can
put the hurt on your joints. But even if your lower body feels a
little creaky, you can still achieve your dirt-splattered
fantasies, says

Gerren Liles, a personal trainer and a Reebok-sponsored athlete
with more than 20 obstacle course races under his belt.

“The good thing about these races: They’re scalable for all
types of fitness levels,” Liles says. While some OCRs require
burpees, box jumps, or wall climbs, which may be nonstarters for
someone with bad knees, races always allow for modifications, he
says.

That said, it’s important to know why your joints hurt to help
target the issue. “If there are knee issues, it’s either
related to structural damage like torn ligaments or from knots and
tightened muscles that pull on the joint,” Liles says.

Consult a doctor to determine which it is. If it’s the latter,
Liles recommends foam rolling or sports
massages
to remove the knots from the muscle fibers. You should
start training four to six weeks before your race, with three to
four sessions a week, which still leaves ample time for mobility
work.

For lower-back pain, the culprit is often tight hip muscles and
a weak core, Liles says. Again, consult your doctor to know for
sure. If you have a weak midsection, strengthen it by adding core
exercises to your routine. Start by holding planks for as long as
possible; try to work up to a minute straight. If tight hips are
the problem, add stretches into your post-workout cooldown. 

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Two moves to loosen up your hips and help combat lower-back
pain:

How to Do It: Perform two sets of five reps for
each of the two stretches pre-workout.

Lizard Stretch: 

From a pushup position, bring your left foot forward so it’s
next to your left hand. Lower your left elbow to the floor,
allowing your right arm to bend slightly. Hold for 5 seconds, then
return to a pushup position. Switch sides.

Pigeon Stretch: 

Lie on your back with your left foot planted on the ground, leg
bent at roughly 90 degrees. Bring your right leg up, and lay your
shin over the front of your left knee. Try to turn your right knee
away from you until you feel a stretch. Hold for a few seconds and
then switch sides.

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Source: FS – All – Fitness – News
Two Moves to Bulletproof Your Back and Knees