To be honest, I have never been a big fan of post-run stretching.
The moment I finished a run, I would immediately jump into the shower, and promise myself that I will stretch next time. But we all know that never happens. We just get into the habit of putting up until tomorrow what we must do today.
But everything changed for me when I added a 10-minute standing stretching post-run routine.
The Benefits of Stretching for Runners
Stretching your muscles after a run can help you counteract the high impact effects of running, as well as help you release much of the tension and tightness resulting from hitting the pavement.
In fact, I would go as far as to say that post-run stretching can help you prevent post-workout soreness and stiffness, although there is not scientific study backing up my claim. It’s been just my experience, so try it and see if it’s gonna work for you.
Also, stretching helps you become more flexible (duh) and help you ward off many of the mobility issues that many runners have.
In other words, stretching will make your running more efficient and enjoyable—both short, and long term.
The 8 Standing Post-Run Stretches Every Runner Should Be Doing
I devised a simple and straightforward “on-the-go” stretch routine for you.
I highly recommend that you do this routine as soon as you are done with your run. But you can also perform this stretch sequence wherever or whenever you find yourself on your feet.
This routine will stretch out all of your major running muscles. Hold each stretch for 30- to 45-second, then slowly release it, then perform the stretch on the other side.
However, be careful, if your body is not warmed up, you could be risking an injury. So never stretch beyond the point of discomfort.
1. Hamstring Stretch
Begin by standing with your right foot a few inches in front of your left, with the right toes lifted.
Next, bend the left knee, lean forward from your hips and fold down on your right leg by resting both palms on your right thigh or knee for balance.
Hold the pose for 30-seconds, then switch to the other side.
2. Hip Flexors & Psoas Stretch
The hip flexors and the Psoas
Start off by getting into a forward lunge position, then place your hands on your lead knee.
Next, lower your left knee to the ground, then to stretch, press down with your hands and extend the hips forward until you start feeling a stretch in front of your thigh, groin and hip. While keeping your pelvis tucked.
Hold the stretch for 30-seconds, then switch sides.
3. The Standing Calf stretch
Begin by placing both hands extended in front of you on a wall at about chest level.
Next, to stretch your right calf, step lightly with your left leg close to the wall, then lean against the wall until you feel a stretch in your right calf while keeping your leg straight. Make sure to keep the heel of your right foot grounded.
Hold the stretch for 30-second, then switch sides.
4. The Forward Hang
lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves
To perform this powerful stretch, start off by standing with your feet hip-distance apart and knees slightly bent. Next, on the exhale, bend at your waist and fold forward from the hips reaching for the floor.
Reach as far down as you can and grab onto your shins, ankles or toes. For more stretch, interlace your fingers behind your back.
Hold the stretch for one full minute and breathe deeply to release any tension in the lower back, hamstrings and calves.
5. The Standing Chest Stretch
Chest and shoulder muscles.
Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Next, lace your fingers together behind your back and straighten your arms. Then, with your arms straight, squeeze your shoulder blades together while aiming to extend your elbows out to the sides to open and stretch your chest.
Hold the stretch for 30- to 45-second, then slowly release your arms to the sides.
6. Standing Quad Stretch
Begin by standing on your right leg with your knees touching. Next, bring your left heel back, and grasp your left foot or ankle with your left hand. Next, softly pull your foot toward your butt. Hold onto a chair or a wall for balance.
Make sure to keep your knees aligned and back straight and chest upright throughout the stretch. Hold the stretch for 30-second, then switch sides.
7. Standing IT Band Stretch
The Iliotibial Band, which is a group of fibers that run along the outside of your thighs.
Begin by standing tall, then cross your left leg behind your right and point the toes of your left foot out about 45 degrees.
Next, while engaging your core, lean slightly forwards and to the right side until you start feeling a stretch on the outside of your left leg. To stay on the safe side, make sure to lean against a chair or a wall.
Hold the stretch for 30-second, then switch to the other side.
7. The Inner Thigh Stretch
Adductors and the whole groin area
Stand upright with your back straight, feet wider than the hips, and toes turned out.
Next, slowly bend your knees, squatting straight down, while keeping your hands on your thighs, until you start feeling a stretch all over the inner thighs.
Make sure to keep your shoulders relaxed and back straight throughout the stretch, and never allow your knees to move past your toes.
Hold the stretch for 30- to 45-second, then slowly press back to starting position.
I hope you like my standing stretch routine.
Please add some of your favorite post-run stretches in the comment section.
Looking forward to hearing from you
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Featured Image Credit – Amella Through Flickr