Stretching after your runs can help improve your flexibility and may help with injury prevention. Here are some great running stretches:
Your calf muscles will need a good stretch when you’re done running.
- Place both hands on a wall with arms extended.
- Lean against wall with one leg bent forward and the other leg extended back with knee straight and foot facing forward. Keep the heel of your rear foot on that floor.
- Feel the stretch in the calf of that leg, and hold 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat with the opposite leg.
Your quadriceps (front thigh) muscles work hard when you’re running, so it is important to stretch them fully after your run.
- Stand straight, lift your right foot up behind you, and hold your right foot with your right hand.
- Keeping your knees as close together as possible, pull your heel gently toward you, feeling a stretch in your quadriceps.
- Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat with the left leg.
Hamstring muscles are prone to injury, so it’s very important to stretch them.
- Stand with your legs crossed and the outsides of your feet together.
- Bend over with the knee at the back kept straight, reaching toward your feet.
- Hold stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat with your opposite leg.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Your hip flexor muscles help lift your legs up during running, so they need a proper stretch after running.
- Step into a lunge position, keeping your toes pointed forward and your upper torso straight.
- Press down with your hands and extend the hips forward until you feel a stretch on your back leg from the front of your hip and the top of your thigh.
- Hold 15 to 30 seconds, then switch legs.
It's important not to forget that although your legs do most of the work, you also use your upper body when you’re running, so your arms need some TLC too…
- Bring one of your elbows across your body, towards your opposite shoulder.
- Use your other hand to bring your elbow closer to your shoulder.
- Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then switch sides.