How many times (honestly) have you completed your run and not stretched afterwards? Probably a few. We get it, the endorphins are flowing and you feel as though your mission is complete. However, stretching is an important part of helping you recover and perform better on your next run. Plus, with this easy stretch routine there’s no excuses for not squeezing it in, as it takes less than 10 minutes.
Stretching is an important part of your post-workout recovery. According to Nike, doing this while the muscles are warm can help increase their range of motion. This is important because if your muscles are tight when you run, then you’re more prone to injuries. They also note how it increases blood flow to the muscles that you’ve just used, which can reduce the symptoms of delayed-onset muscle soreness.
This routine consists of five easy stretches that you can do at home with your sofa, a chair or the bottom step of your stairs. Make sure you’ve got an exercise mat beneath you. You’re going to hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds (on each side where applicable), although if you feel really tight then you may want to hold them for a little longer, and do a minimum of two rounds. Here are your stretches:
- Seated figure 4
- Couch stretch (can use a chair, sofa or wall for this)
- Hip rocks
- Standing hamstring stretch
- Prayer stretch using a chair
If you enjoyed those stretches, then you may also like these three yoga poses that are perfect post-run, or if it's tight hamstrings that you're suffering from we've got a six-minute stretch just for that too. Remember, as well as taking time to stretch after your run, make sure you are also doing a decent warm up too because, again, this will massively affect your performance and reduce the likelihood of injuries. Need some inspo? Here's a five-move warm-up routine that'll take just three minutes.