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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Lie on right side, legs stacked. Extend bottom
arm to rest head on shoulder, and place top hand on floor in front of
- Squeeze thighs together and lift legs several
inches. Hold for 2 seconds; lower legs to hover above floor. Do 10 to 12 reps;
Works hip abductors, glutes and improves hip
- 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
- 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
- Bend right elbow and left knee under torso until
- 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