Stretching is such an integral part of all fitness, whether it be running, crossfit, swimming, you name it! In order for you to be successful at a sport, you must be sure to stretch both before and after you run, so that you do not injure yourself and therefore hinder your goals. Post-run stretches are essential for body fitness and muscle flexibility, after every running activity and as an athlete. Regardless of how flexible you may be, following this recommended stretch routine once or twice a week will help you be in proper shape as an athlete. If you want to develop a specific muscle, you could practice some full body stretches once a week to target a specific muscle or different muscle groups.
It is important that you hold each stretch for at least a minute or two, as well as doing some deep breaths while you are holding the stretch. This way you are getting the most out of the stretches and truly working the muscles. Another great tip is to invest in a foam roller, this will help immensely with your post-run stretches and sore muscles. Below are some of the best post-run stretches to help keep you fit and strong and healthy.
Standing Quadriceps Stretch
Place one of your legs on the wall for balance, then flex your foot and keep your body straight to optimize the stretch through the front of your leg. Then push your body into the stretch until you feel i tin your quadriceps, then breath into the stretch and hold for about a minute. This stretch is so important to runners as quads are one of the main muscles used in running.
Hip Stretch or Flex
This might be a bit difficult to do, but it’s a perfect hip stretch; push your hips squared forward and your upper body vertically, and keep in mind that slumping forward reduces the flex. Tight hips are one of the tops reasons for not being able to run properly and for having injuries, always stretch your hips before and after a run to help alleviate any pain and to avoid injury.
Lying Gluteal Stretch Against the Wall
Place the ankle on your front leg just below your knee, ensuring that you are not too far from wall to allow your lower back to be off the floor. With time gravity will gradually bring your lower back to the floor, you will feel flex in the muscles within your buttocks area. Adjusting the angle of your front knee and hips will intensify the stretch.
Hold your feet and mildly use your leg muscles to move your knees towards the floor. Bringing your feet closer to the body and keeping a straight back intensifies the stretch. This stretch will help to alleviate any pain that you may have built up in the groin area. We often don’t think to do this stretch, but it is as well vital to any successful runner.
We hope these stretches help you to stay healthy and strong while on your running career.