Post run stretching can seem like a drag. You’ve just finished working out, it’s time to give your body the protein and hydration it needs to recover. But wait! It needs stretching to recover, too. Giving the muscles that just did hard work a chance to relax and get blood moving through them stimulates recovery because it helps bring more oxygen and muscles repairing tools to where they’re needed.
Quadriceps Stretch – Standing on one leg, bring your other heel towards your glutes, it’s OK to use a wall, railing or anything for support if you need it. Grasp your ankle with your same side hand and bring your heel in toward your glutes without compressing your knee joint. Be sure to keep your knees next to each other, you are trying to make the quadriceps muscle long, and allowing the knees to separate prevents that from happening. Feel a stretch through the front of your thigh and hold for 15-20 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
Standing Hamstring Stretch – Standing on both feet, place one foot slightly in front of you. Rest on your heel, with your ankle flexed gently, then bring your shoulders towards your legs with your abs engaged, hands on your hips and a slight bend in the opposite knee. Hold for 15-20 seconds then slowly return to the starting position and repeat with your other leg.
Calf Stretch – Standing with your hands on a wall, shoulder width apart, lean forward, extending the leg to be stretched back with one foot closer to the wall. Put the heel of your back foot on the ground and lean forward, into the wall, until you feel a slight stretch through the back of your lower leg. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then release and repeat on the other side.
IT Band Stretch (Figure 4) – To stretch your IT Band, begin by standing straight then crossing your right ankle just above your left knee, forming the number ‘4’ from your hips down. Using a wall, railing or whatever is available for support, slowly sink your hips down and back into a seated position until you feel a stretch. Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds, the slowly rise, regain balance standing straight and switch sides.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch – Begin in a lunge position on the ground. With your right knee bent in front of you, and the left knee on the ground, push your hips forward until you feel a gentle pull through your hip and quad. To get an even greater stretch, reach your arms high over your head. Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Be sure to check out our YouTube video here for demonstrations of post run stretching.
Have questions about your post run stretching routine? Want to mix it up? Ask Team FitNice! Email Info@FitNicePT.com or fill out the box below.