Post-run is a great time to stretch because your muscles will be warmed up. These stretches target particular areas that frequently get tight during and after running. Make them part of your post-run routine to help improve your flexibility and performance.
This hamstring stretch feels great, and it's easier on your back than the bending-over stretch. Here's what to do:
1. Lie on your back with your legs extended and your back straight. Make sure your lower back is on the floor and your hips are level.
2. Bend your left knee and keep,your left leg extend on the floor.
3. Slowly straighten your right knee, grabbing the back of your leg with both hands.
4. Gently pull your right leg towards you while keeping your hips on the floor. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on your left side.
If straightening your leg is too difficult, you can also do this stretch with a bent knee.
Your quadriceps (front thighs) are powerful muscles that work hard when you're running, so it's important that you stretch them. Here's what to do:
1. Stand straight (don't lean forward), lift the foot of your cramping leg up behind you, and grab your foot with your hand on that side.
2. Pull your heel gently toward your butt, feeling a stretch in your quad.
3. Keep your other leg straight and try to keep your knees as close together as possible.
4. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Release and repeat. Switch legs and repeat steps on the other leg.
Your calf muscles work hard when you're running, so they'll need a good stretch when you're done. This stretch is essential for preventing shin splints. Here's what to do:
1. Place both hands on a wall with arms extended.