When you finish up a run it can be easy to skip straight to showering and snacks, but there’s a step you really can’t afford to miss. Stretching after exercise is essential. It will keep your muscles flexible, aid recovery, reduce soreness and help you avoid injury. Not sure where to start? These three simple stretches for runners are the perfect moves to begin with.
Effective Post-Run Stretches
A full-body stretch routine is going to require way more than just three stretches. But if you’re short on time or want to start small then these three stretches are a great foundation. While moving through the stretches remember to keep breathing, maintain them for 10-15 seconds and don’t force your body out of it’s natural range of movement.
1. Calf Stretch
Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Stretch one leg out behind you, keep it straight and bend the other leg. Lean forward keeping your heels planted to feel a stretch down your calf. Switch and do the other side.
2. Hamstring Stretch
Lay on the ground. Bend one knee and keep this foot planted on the ground. Bring the other thigh to your chest, then straighten this leg as much as you can. Flex your foot towards you and use your hands to gently pull your leg towards you until you feel a stretch. Don’t forget to stretch both sides.
3. Hip Flexor Stretch
Kneel on the ground (a yoga mat will help protect your knees). Keeping your hips square, put one foot flat on the ground and extend the other out behind you. Lunge forward, engaging your glutes and keeping your chest tall. Always stretch both sides of your body.
Skip out on the post-workout soreness with these three stretches for runners. And we’ll see you on the ASICS London 10K course in July.