Home Stretch: Making The Most Of The Highline

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I haven’t been on a run since this sunny spring-like day in New York but here is a peek into the beautiful setting that is the Highline.

Even though my professional athletic days are behind me, working out is still a big part of my lifestyle.  I’ll admit – one thing easier about being an elite athlete in training is having someone who is paid to kick your butt everyday. There are days it is difficult to motivate myself to get out there and harder still to get through the most important part of my workout – stretching.

There’s nothing glamorous about stretching – except in this case when I’m posing for an illustrative photo (thanks Melissa for your patience and knowing my angles!) But if I can convince my body to go for a run, this is the only way I know to do it and avoid injury.

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About once a week I get myself out on the Highline for a run and stretch routine. If you aren’t a New Yorker, the Highline is an amazing old elevated railway that was converted into an extended park that overlooks Manhattan and the Hudson. It’s an awesome way to see the city and an even better place to workout because there’s great light and energy.

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I’m not a distance runner like some of my marathoner friends (my marathons of choice involve DVR and popcorn) so I mix up sprinting, jogging, and walking. I try to do about a minute of each in rotation for up to 30 minutes to really get my heart rate going. I emphasize stretching post-run once my muscles are warmed up. My movements are heavily influenced by dance to help create long, lean muscles while also building strength. I focus on hamstrings, calves, quads, and a hip opener. For the pictured stretches below, I hold each for about two minutes.

What motivates you to work out? Let me see some of your tips in the comments. Now that’s it’s nice out everywhere I’m going, I’ve got no excuses!

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