Stretches for Runners

September 8, 2015 Augusta, Fitness, Health, Running 0 Comments

Running can put stress on your joints and muscles. It is best to stretch before and after any workout to keep loose and agile. For some runners, going on a light job before running is enough of a pre-workout warm-up. For those who need a little more emphasis on specific areas, this post is for you! Listed below are 10 stretches you can do before and after going for a run.

running stretches

[Pictured here: Women’s Spike Jersey and Women’s Stride Short]

Before Running:

  1. Groin: Lay on the ground, with both legs out and sitting in an upright position. Cross your left leg over your right. Pull in your left leg/knee into your body while twisting your torso to the other side. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on opposite leg.
  2. Lower Back: Lay down on your belly. With your arms shoulder width a part in a pushup position, keeping your hips down, press firmly into the ground. This will lift your upper body up and look like a back bend.
  3. Hamstrings: Start by sitting on the ground. Extend one leg out, and the other bent into the inner thigh. Bend over and try to touch your toes on your extended leg. Hold for 10 seconds, and switch legs.
  4. Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch: Start in a lunge position. With your front leg at 90-degrees, keep your opposite leg behind you and straighten. Flex your back foot pressing down into the ground intermittently and release. Repeat on other leg. You can put your arms on your hips or parallel straight up above your head.
  5. Walking Lunges: Start with your hands on your hips and walk forward. With each step, go into a lunge position keeping your back straight. Take your time coming up and down from each lunge.
  6. Side Stretch: Standing with both feet together, raise your arms into a parallel position above your head. Starting in your hips, bend your body to the right. This stretches your torso and arms. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat bend to the left.
  7. Hip Circles: Standing with your feet at shoulder width a part and hands on your hips, rotate your hips clockwise. It doesn’t have to be big rotations, but enough to loosen up. Repeat rotations counter clockwise for 10 rotations on each direction.
  8. Quadriceps: Also known as flamingoes, this stretch is for your quads. You want to bend one knee and using the arm on the same side, grasp your foot that is bent back and pull your heel closer to your buttocks. Hold for 10 seconds and release. Repeat using the opposite leg and arm.
  9. Leg Swings: Standing upright, hold on to a sturdy object. One leg at a time, kick up your leg in the front and back of your body. This swinging motion opens your legs into a full range of motion. Repeat with other leg.
  10. Calf Rises: You can do this stretch standing alone or using a wall for stability. You’re going to raise yourself onto the balls of your feet, stretching your calf muscles. Slowly come back down. Repeat as necessary.

 

After Running:

  1. Head to Knee: Start by sitting down on the floor. Have one leg extended, and the other tucked into your inner thigh. Reach out to your extended leg. Pushing your head into your knee. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat on other leg.
  2. Hip and Back Stretch: Siting on the ground, start with both legs straight out in front of you. Cross your leg over your right. Your left ankle should be touching your right knee. Twisting your torso to the right, place your elbow on the outer thigh and push against it. Hold for 20 seconds and release. Repeat with your right leg.
  3. Butterfly: Siting on the ground, bring both legs into your inner thighs. The soles of your feet should touch. Lean forward until you feel the pull in your legs. Hold there for 30 seconds. Repeat a few more times.
  4. Thread the Needle: Lay flat on your back with your legs out and arms beside you. Bend both knees and place one leg over the other. The ankle of the crossed leg should touch the top of the other knee. Using your hands, pull your bent leg in (not the crossed over one) towards your chest and hold for 10 seconds. Release and repeat on other side.
  5. Hamstrings: Start by sitting on the ground. Extend one leg out, and the other bent into the inner thigh. Bend over and try to touch your toes on your extended leg. Hold for 10 seconds, and switch legs.
  6. Low Lunge: Start in a lunge position. Lean forward on your front leg, keeping your back leg straight behind you. Bend down until you feel the pull in your hips and thigh. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch legs.
  7. Quadriceps: Also known as flamingoes, this stretch is for your quads. You want to bend one knee and using the arm on the same side, grasp your foot that is bent back and pull your heel closer to your buttocks. Hold for 10 seconds and release. Repeat using the opposite leg and arm.
  8. Shoulder Stretch: Standing, pull one arm up and over behind your head. It should look like you’re patting yourself on the back. Using the opposite arm, pull the bent elbow down slightly and hold for 10 seconds. Release and repeat on other arm.
  9. IT Band Stretch: Standing up, cross your right leg behind your left. Lean forward and to the left. Raise your right hand and lean to the left. Hold for 30 seconds and release. Repeat on opposite leg.
  10. Calf Stretch: Using a wall, place your hands against it with one leg forward and the other behind you. This should look like a lunge, but with both legs straight. Keeping your back heel pressed into the ground, you should feel the pull in your calf. Hold for 10 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.

 

If you have any questions or want to let us know how we are doing, please feel free to comment below!

 

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