September 27, 2017

5 simple post run stretches

Stretching is one of those subjects that people have different views on. Some people advocate stretching and others get away with never stretching. I guarantee the latter can’t touch their toes anymore though!

Stretching is important for a few reasons:

  • Increases range of motion and flexibility
  • Lengthens muscles after they are shortened during exercise
  • Decreases muscle soreness and reduces risk of iinjury
  • Decreases muscle tension
  • Improves circulation

When you are running you are predominantly using your glutes, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors and calf muscles; however you are also using your core, biceps and upper body to a lesser extent so you need to stretch these muscles out too.

5 simple stretches to do post run are below. These are designed to be easy to remember and stretch mostly the legs, glutes and back.

 

Calf stretch against wall

This exercise stretches the calf muscle (gastrocnemius to be exact) and also the Achilles.

  • Stand arms length from the wall
  • Front foot should be slightly bent and back leg straight
  • Press hips forward until stretch is felt in the back leg
  • Hold for 30 secs and repeat
Calf stretch
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Seated hamstring stretch

This exercise focuses predominantly on the hamstrings

  • Sit on the floor and bend one leg in; keep the other leg straight
  • Ensure the straight leg stays straight and pull the toes towards the knees using a towel or resistance band, or your hands if flexible enough
  • Try not to hunch over when you are stretching; keep a straight back
  • Hold for 30 secs and repeat

An alternative is to have both legs out in front.

Hamstring stretch

Double leg hamstring stretch

Quadriceps stretch

Both of these exercises are great for quads. Depending on your preference lie down or stand up.

Lying down

  • Lie on stomach and gently pull ankle towards bum until you feel a stretch
  • Keep hips square and flat on the ground at all times
  • Hold for 30 secs and repeat on the other side

Standing

  • Stand and lift the leg to be stretched towards your bum and pull it behind you
  • Keep the hips square and forward and don’t twist
  • Hold for 30 secs and repeat on other leg

As a general rule hold each side for 30 seconds to feel the benefit then change side. There you have 5 minutes of stretching post run.

Quad stretch lying downStanding quad stretch

 

External rotator stretch

This exercise is great for external hip rotators which are often forgotten when stretching but very important for running

  • Sit on the floor with a straight back
  • Bend knee of right leg and cross over straight leg
  • Bring left arm over right leg and push right leg across body feeling the stretch
  • Keep back straight and bring supporting arm behind body
  • Head to follow upper body movement
  • Hold for 30 secs and repeat 

Glutes and external hip rotator stretch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Child pose

A relaxing pose to do last of all. It is typically a yoga pose and stretches the hips, thighs, ankles and back gently. Be careful with knees.

Child pose yoga stretch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With all of these exercise if you don’t feel comfortable do not continue. Be cautious with your knees especially if you have an injury and do not over stretch. If in doubt seek a professional.

Comments

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  2. wow gold says:

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