You know how to prepare for your next run: you’re up at dawn and get dressed in all your gear. You use the bathroom, grab water, and head out the door. But did you know there’s a right way to stretch after every run? Yes! And not only does it keep you from getting injured, but it can also help relieve muscle soreness. We’ve got some quick stretches to keep your body limber and ready for whatever comes next on your fitness journey.
Benefits of Quick Stretches Routine After Race
- Stretching helps to reduce muscle soreness.
- Stretching helps to improve flexibility and range of motion
- Stretching helps to prevent injury
- Stretching helps to improve athletic performance
- Stretching helps to reduce stress and fatigue
- Stretching helps to improve posture
- This routine will help you prepare for the next day after your run or workout. You’ll have better body awareness, which will help you move more efficiently in your everyday life.
If you’re like most runners, you probably don’t spend much time stretching after your runs. But if you want to avoid injuries and improve your recovery, it’s important to add some quick stretches to your post-run routine. Here are a few of our favorite stretches to do immediately after every run.
- Start in a standing position and keep your feet together.
- Slowly pull your right knee towards your chest, keeping your hips squared forward and making sure that you don’t bend at the waist; if you feel any pain or discomfort, stop immediately and consult a physical therapist before resuming this exercise.
- Straighten out the leg behind you (try not to let it go past parallel with the floor), then repeat on the left side. Repeat 10 times on each side of the body
Standing hip flexor stretch.
- Stand on your left leg and lift your right one behind you, bending at the knee and hip. You should feel a stretch in the front of your right thigh (hamstrings).
- Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times on each side, then alternate legs
- Do these stretches after every run or whenever you want to loosen up
To perform this stretch, you will want to sit on the ground with both legs straight out.
Now bend your right knee and grab hold of your right foot with your hands.
While holding onto your right foot, slowly pull it towards yourself until you feel a stretch in the quadriceps muscle. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
Repeat with the left leg.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, then reach back and grab your ankles.
- Bend your knees slightly and push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the backs of your legs (your hamstrings). Keep the motion slow and controlled, so you don’t hyperextend or overstretch those muscles.
- Hold for 30 seconds, relax briefly by taking some deep breaths, then repeat twice more on each side before heading off to work or class!
To perform the calf stretch, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on a wall or something else that is at least as tall as you are, and step back with one leg, so it’s bent in an L-shape. Lean into this leg until you feel a gentle pull in your calves. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat on both sides.
Stretching your calves will help improve your range of motion while also reducing soreness after exercise — especially if you’re prone to Achilles injuries or calf cramps (which is almost everyone). If you can’t reach down far enough to grab onto your toes, try using a resistance band instead: stretch out the band between two stable objects, then wrap it around both feet before pulling yourself up toward them as far as possible for 30 seconds per side.
Figure four stretch
The figure four stretch is a great way to open up your hips, which helps with flexibility and injury prevention. To do this stretch:
- Sit on the ground with one leg extended and the other bent in front of you as if you were making a snow angel (the knee should be touching the ground).
- Reach behind your back and grab hold of your opposite ankle.
- Pull gently toward yourself until you feel the stretch in your groin area (don’t pull too hard!). Hold for 30 seconds while taking deep breaths through your nose; then switch sides. Repeat once more.
The side stretch is a simple yet effective way to open up the muscles in your upper body. It can make you feel refreshed after a run and help prevent muscle soreness.
To do this stretch:
- Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms at your sides.
- Bend to one side while keeping the other leg straight, reaching with both hands toward the foot of that bent leg (your foot will be off the ground). Hold for 10 seconds; repeat on another side.
Seated hamstring stretch
The seated hamstring stretch is an effective way to lengthen your hamstrings and improve flexibility in your hips. To do this stretch:
- Sit on the floor with one leg straight out in front of you, your foot flexed. Bend your other knee and place the sole of that foot flat on the floor beside you.
- Place a belt around the ball of your foot if it’s difficult to move into position due to tightness or pain; gently pull yourself forward until you feel a stretch in that hamstring muscle group. A towel can also be used as an alternative method for keeping yourself stable if needed—wrap it around both feet and hold onto each end so that they don’t slip while holding onto them with both hands as well (this will help keep things secure). If none of these options work well enough, try using a band instead! This can be tied around each ankle to keep everything where it should be when performing this type of exercise…or even using a chair.
- How to do ankle circles: Take a couple of steps forward, then step back with one foot. Repeat on the other side.
- Benefits of ankle circles: Stretching your ankles helps prevent injuries by increasing flexibility and range of motion in key areas, which can help protect you from shin splints and plantar fasciitis.
- Frequency: Do ankle circles before, during, or after every run.
T-spine rotation and Thoracic Extension
This stretch is great for opening up the shoulders and thoracic spine. You should feel this in your upper back, neck, and shoulders.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms at chest height by your side.
Make sure to keep the weight on both feet evenly distributed on the floor. Slowly rotate one shoulder forward while keeping it level with your other shoulder until you feel a stretch in that shoulder blade area. When finished rotating one shoulder forward, rotate back to startanotherosition and repeat on another side of the body so that both shoulders are now stretched out nicely!
Hold this position for 30 seconds before switching sides again (30 secs x 3 reps = 1 min total).
The benefits of stretching are well-documented, but it’s important to remember that stretching alone won’t keep you injury-free. Stretching is just one part of a complete fitness routine that includes strength training and other types of exercise. To prevent injuries, make sure your muscles are strong enough to handle the intensity level at which you train. And don’t forget that stretching after every run is an easy way to improve flexibility and reduce soreness—so do it!