If you are a runner or a walker, I'm sure you know that your sport uses leg, pelvic and back muscles extensively.
Most of us have heard experts tout the benefits of stretching for runners and walkers. But this is only part of the picture.
Unless your body usage is premo, you are likely to engage in your chosen activity with muscle imbalances. And when you do a weight bearing workout as vigorous as running or serious walking, you risk strengthening your existing imbalances. This may lead to an injury.
Not only that, but strength and flexibility imbalances between muscles that attach on or pass through the pelvis may create back pain. For example, tight hamstrings - the muscles at back of the thigh - are known to cause a condition called flat low back posture. (As the name implies, flat low back posture is a decrease in the natural spinal curve in the lumbar area.)
Or, tight quads may pull the top of the pelvis forward, increasing the curve, and leading to a condition known as hyper, or excessive lordosis. Excessive lordosis may tighten up your back muscles.
Need a fix? About.com's Yoga Guide, Ann Pizer, offers a great routine. Check out her yoga stretches for runners.