Quad + Hamstring Stretches and Backbends

I’ll admit that I’m not good about making time to stretch.  When I get to the gym, I jump right into my workout.  Or if I’m running outside, my feet start going as soon as they hit the pavement.  And then when I finish, I feel rushed to get home, shower, and move onto the next thing.  I have good intentions, but struggle with the execution.

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If you’re sitting behind a desk all day, try to make an effort to periodically stand up, stretch, and shake out your legs.  Even if that means taking a short walk to the water fountain or bathroom, I’m willing to bet that you’ll feel better when you return.

Today I’m sharing four of my favorite quad and hamstring stretches…  My weekly mileage is quickly increasing {the Marine Corps Marathon is exactly two months away!}, so stretching has become more important than ever.

The first two stretches target your quads and the second two focus on your hamstrings.  Hold each stretch for 15 – 30 seconds and repeat 2 – 4 times.  To get the maximum benefit from the stretch, good form is key.  Modify when necessary.

Side Lying Quad Stretch

Standing Quad Stretch

Tipover Tuck Hamstring Stretch

Modified Hurdler Hamstring Stretch

And in honor of today’s challenge, backbends.  This challenge really pushed me out of my comfort zone…  I am not a naturally bendy, graceful person.  Charlie evidently wasn’t impressed with my form.

Bridge Pose

Cobra Pose

Camel Pose

Dog Tilt Pose

As always, consult a medical professional before beginning any new activity.

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It’s not too late to join in on the  #liveinprana #7daystretch fun!  To follow me through the daily challenges, you can find me on Instagram @lifesabowl and Twitter @lifesabowl.

Here are the daily prompts for the remainder of the week…

Tuesday, August 25: Backbends.  Any backbend.  All backbends. #benditlikebackbend. Show us how you get bendy! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: It’s #transformationtuesday y’all, whether you’re bendier than you used to be, more adventurous, or even faster, we want to see! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Wednesday, August 26: It’s our mid-week stretch it out, show us what’s getting you through your hump day. #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: It’s #workoutitwednesday.  Show us how you worked it today! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Thursday, August 27: Show us a #tbt to a time when you stretched outside of your comfort zone. #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: Show us your favorite stretchy pants (shorts work too). #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Friday, August 28: Happy #freefriday y’all!  We want to see what makes you feel the most FREE. #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: Show us how you are celebrating #forearmfriday!  Forearm planks, dolphin pose, forearm stands, or maybe just forearms on the table? #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Saturday, August 29: Saturday side stretch!  Show us your fave side stretch(es)! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: #sunsalutesaturday.  Show us how you are saluting the sun today! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Sunday, August 30: What are your favorite ways to restore your mind, body, and soul? #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: Show us your favorite zen space.  Where do you find peace & tranquility? #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna #sundayzenday

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Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by FitApproach and prAna, but all opinions are my own.

Question:  Do you stretch regularly?

Question:  What are your favorite quad and/or hamstring stretch{es}?

— Allison

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Join the #7daystretch #liveinprana Challenge

I feel like I say it every year, “This is the year of change!” but I think that this year takes the cake.  If you’re following me on social media, you might have an idea of what I’m talking about…

We welcomed a sweet baby girl into our lives in October.  I took a LOA from teaching and got certified to teach FIT4MOM’s Body Back program.  We packed up our lives and said goodbye to the state that I’ve called home for my entire 25 years of life.  We welcomed a rambunctious puppy into our family last week.  And today the moving truck delivered all of our furniture to our new house!

I was hoping to jump back into blogging with an entirely new layout, but things are taking a little longer than expected.  The content will remain pretty much the same, but I was itching for a new look.  Something cleaner and fresher.

Starting today I’m joining prAna and Sweat Pink for a super fun #7daystretch #liveinprana challenge, ending on Sunday, August 30th.  We’d love for y’all to join in on the fun by answering the daily prompts or if you’d rather just follow along, check out the FitApproach website or search for #liveinprana, #7daystretch, and/or #SweatPink on social media.

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We’ll be talking about how we {the community} embrace a prAna lifestyle {#liveinprana} and are challenging ourselves to stretch a little deeper, push a little further, and live a little more mindfully for seven whole days {#7daystretch}.  And we’ll be stretching more than just our bodies, think mind and soul, so you don’t have to be a pretzel to join!  Trust me, if you’ve ever taken a yoga class with me, you’d know I’m not naturally balanced and bendy.

I’d love for you and you and you, yes YOU!, to join me for this fun challenge.  Complete the fun mad-lib below and let’s get this PARTY started!  My answers are in pink.

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We’re nearing the end of August and even though the summer is coming to an end, I’m super excited about the fall because I love to watch the leaves change colors.  In fact, my very favorite thing about fall is hearing the leaves rustling under my feet when I run AND trying to include as much pumpkin into my diet as possible.  I can imagine myself wearing the Peppa Jacket {click to view} while I run at 5AM because I know that the falls and winters in our new state are going to be colder than I’m used to.

If I had one goal for the fall, it would be to stay injury free because I’m training to run the Marine Corps Marathon in October!  To achieve it, I know I will need to eat healthfully, run regularly, embrace rest days, stay motivated, and keep my eyes on the finish line.  And of course I want to look great doing it so I added the Peppa Jacket to my wish-list.

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We’d love for you to join us for the #liveinprana #7daystretch!  To follow me through the daily challenges, you can find me on Instagram @lifesabowl and Twitter @lifesabowl.

Here are the daily prompts to get you started…

Monday, August 24: It’s Monday, make sure you get up and stretch ‘dem legs!  Show us your favorite quad and/or hamstring stretch(es)! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

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Bonus: We want to see you JUMP it out.  Give us your BEST #jumpjoymonday! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Tuesday, August 25: Backbends.  Any backbend.  All backbends. #benditlikebackbend. Show us how you get bendy! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: It’s #transformationtuesday y’all, whether you’re bendier than you used to be, more adventurous, or even faster, we want to see! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Wednesday, August 26: It’s our mid-week stretch it out, show us what’s getting you through your hump day. #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: It’s #workoutitwednesday.  Show us how you worked it today! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Thursday, August 27: Show us a #tbt to a time when you stretched outside of your comfort zone. #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: Show us your favorite stretchy pants (shorts work too). #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Friday, August 28: Happy #freefriday y’all!  We want to see what makes you feel the most FREE. #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: Show us how you are celebrating #forearmfriday!  Forearm planks, dolphin pose, forearm stands, or maybe just forearms on the table? #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Saturday, August 29: Saturday side stretch!  Show us your fave side stretch(es)! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: #sunsalutesaturday.  Show us how you are saluting the sun today! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Sunday, August 30: What are your favorite ways to restore your mind, body, and soul? #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: Show us your favorite zen space.  Where do you find peace & tranquility? #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna #sundayzenday

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Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by FitApproach and prAna, but all opinions are my own.

Question:  What are you most excited about for fall?

— Allison

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National Running Day Survey 2015

Did y’all celebrate National Running Day yesterday?  Little Miss and I did a hilly 3 mile loop in the morning with our local MRTT group and after tutoring I went for a 2.5 mile lake loop with a few neighborhood friends.  Two runs, double the fun!

In honor of the special day, I’m linking up a bunch of other bloggers to complete a fun running survey.  Head over to Kristen’s blog {Jonesin’ for a Run} to read other people’s answers!

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Why do you run?  I run because I can. I know there’s a chance that one day I won’t be able to, so until then I’ll keep running.  It’s my favorite stress reliever, tests both my mental and physical strength, keeps me healthy, pushes me to set crazy goals, has introduced me to awesome people, allows me to explore my beautiful surroundings, and gives me the opportunity to be a positive role model for my daughter.

How do you plan to celebrate National Running Day?  Running, of course!  A stroller run in the morning and a non-stroller run in the evening.

How many miles have you run so far this year?  323.81 miles.  This is the first year that I’ve kept track of my mileage and it’s been great motivation.  I logged 100 miles just in the month of May!  That’s a first!

What big events do you have on the race calendar so far this year?  I ran a few 5Ks and 10Ks in the late winter/early spring, a Mother’s Day 4 Miler, and Boston’s Run to Remember Half Marathon over the Memorial Day weekend.  My next big race is the Marine Corps Marathon in October – it will be my first marathon!  I’ll likely add a few more races between now and October to keep me on track with my training plan.

National Running Day 2015

Before you leave for a run you must have:  my phone, SPIbelt, Headsweats Visor {if it’s sunny}, a full belly, and an empty bladder.  There are few things that are worse than getting stuck outside and having nowhere to go.

Do you have one favorite app to track your runs?  Nike Running. I’ve downloaded a handful of different apps, but always go back to Nike.

Who is your favorite running partner?  I used to be a solo runner until recently.  It was the one time of day when I could check out and let my mind wander, I loved it.  But nowadays I prefer to run with my local MRTT group or neighborhood ladies.  The time passes quicker when you’re engaged in fun conversations with friends!

What races have you run so far this year?  All of my 2015 races are listed on my “Races” page.

If you had to give someone one piece of advice about running what would it be?  Don’t give up.  Some runs make you feel like you’re on top of the world, while others make you want to never run again.

Describe your relationship with running in one word:  Complicated.

Do you call them running shoes or sneakers?  I call them running shoes or just sneakers, not running sneakers.

What’s your favorite race distance?  The half marathon.

— Allison

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