You’ve just finished your run, your muscles are tired and you’re out of breath. Accomplished, but definitely out of breath. The first thing that may come to your mind to do is sit down or lay down. However, this can be so detrimental to your body. It is essential to stretch after you run or do any type of workout. Stretching helps to prevent injuries and any unnecessary joint, tendon, or muscle pain. Recovery is just as important as putting in the hard work. And if you struggle with being motivated to stretch, think about how much better it will make you feel on your next run. Stretch now to run later!
Summer is one of those times of the year that everyone decides to try out all of those popular runs. But to train for them you have to take care of your body.
Here are some of my favorite stretches to do after I run. And a lot of these are not just specifically for after a run, you can use these after any other workout you do as well.
1. Hip Flexor
- Kneel down on one knee and have both of your hips facing forward
- Squeeze your glutes and slightly shift your weight forward till you feel a stretch in your back hip flexor
- Stretching your hip flexors helps with mobility and lifting your knees up
2. Calf Stretch
- Find a wall or fence and put as much of your foot onto it
- Lean forward into the wall/fence till you feel a stretch in your calf
- If your calf is too tight, it’s hard to get full extension or efficient power output while running
- Stand with legs split apart and turn your body to face one leg
- Make sure your hips are even with each other and facing your lead leg
- Lean over as far as you can with a straight back until you feel a stretch in your lead leg
- If your hamstrings become too tight, your whole running form becomes compromised
4. Hip + Glutes
- Get into a lunge position and then bend your front leg so that your knee goes out and your foot goes in but both are touching the ground
- Extend your back leg as far as it will go
- Sink into the ground and you should feel a stretch in your hip flexor of the back leg and in your glutes of your front leg
- Stretching these muscles allows for you to push yourself harder while running and get more out of your efforts
Stretching even just 5 minutes every day can make a world of a difference. It starts to decrease the tension in your muscles and increases your range of motion. These also help to reduce your risk of injury. Trust me, pulled or torn muscles are no fun. Even if you don’t have injuries, stretching can be a major reliever of muscle aches. Overall stretching just makes you feel better and more relaxed. Who doesn’t want that?
Let me know if you try any of these stretches and if they helped your running! Make sure to subscribe and get fun fitness advice every week!