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12 January 2018

6 fast moves to improve symmetry

Perform the indicated reps of each move, rest for 60 seconds and repeat the circuit twice more.

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You’ve heard about symmetry before: It’s a mathematical principle that denotes exact equality on two sides. A butterfly’s wings. A snowflake. Your face.

Some junior school teacher probably taught you about all of this years ago and you likely haven’t thought about symmetry since.

But you should, and especially when it comes to running, because an asymmetrical body could be the culprit behind a nagging injury, or what’s keeping you from finally nailing a new PB.

1. Single-leg tap

Works hamstrings, glutes and improves stability

exercise, flexibility

  • From a standing position, lift left foot and hinge forward at the hips, keeping them square, until you can tap left fingertips to the floor.
  • Return to starting position without letting left foot touch floor. Do 10 to 12 reps. Repeat on opposite side.

2. Single-leg squat

Works hips, quads, glutes and improves hip stability

exercise, flexibility

  • Stand on your left foot with right foot lifted slightly off floor.
  • Lower into a squat, keeping your right foot lifted (you can reach arms out for balance). Press through left heel to return to standing. Do 10 to 12 reps; switch sides.

3. Single-leg glute bridge

Works glutes and improves core control

exercise, flexibility

  • Lie faceup with feet planted near butt, arms at sides. Extend right leg toward ceiling, foot flexed.
  • Squeeze glutes to lift hips as high as you can. Hold at the top for 2 seconds, then lower until hovering just above the floor. Do 10 to 12 reps; switch sides.

4. Side-lying leg lifts

Works core, hips, glute medius and improves hip stability

exercise, flexibility

  • Lie on right side, legs stacked. Extend bottom arm to rest head on shoulder, and place top hand on floor in front of chest.
  • Squeeze thighs together and lift legs several inches. Hold for 2 seconds; lower legs to hover above floor. Do 10 to 12 reps; switch sides.

5. Clamshell

Works hip abductors, glutes and improves hip rotation

exercise, flexibility

  • Lie on right side; stack legs with knees at 90 degrees. Rest head in right hand and place left hand on floor.
  • Keeping heels together, raise left knee toward the ceiling. Return to start. Do 10 to 12 reps. Repeat on opposite side.

6. Compound bird dog

Works core and improves stability

exercise, flexibility

  • Start on all fours, spine in a neutral position, right arm and left leg lifted and extended.
  • Pulse arm and leg up an inch and down an inch twice.
  • Bend right elbow and left knee under torso until they touch.
  • Return right arm and left leg back to start. Moving at the same time, guide arm and leg straight out to sides to about 2 and 8 on a clock.
  • Return to start. Do 10 to 12 reps of the entire sequence. Switch sides and repeat with opposite arm and leg.

This article was originally featured on www.runnersworld.co.za

Image credits: Matt Rainey


 
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