STRETCHING FOR RUNNERS

Why Stretch?

Stretching after running not only gives the body time to cool down after running, it is also essential for muscle heath and injury prevention. The muscles are shorted during exercise, stretching elongates them, helping them to return to their normal state.  Stretching can also help remove lactic acid from the muscles. Lactic acids is created during exercising and can cause pain in the muscles after a workout

Stretches for Runners

Here is a short collection of stretches for runners, it is by no means definitive and there are lots of different ways of doing lots of different stretches. These are just a few I use and would recommend.

Try to stretch straight after exercise, whilst your muscles are still warm.

You should not feel any pain whilst doing these exercises. If you do, please stop and seek advice from your GP

Hold each stretch for 30 seconds

CALF STRETCH (BACK OF LOWER LEG)

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-Both feet should be pointing towards the wall

-The heel of back foot should be flat on the floor

-Keep the back straight

-Feel stretch at back of  the back leg

QUADRICEPS STRETCH  (FRONT OF THIGH)

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-Keep your knees level and together

-The support leg should be slightly bent

-Stand tall with your tummy held in

-Feel stretch on front of thigh

If you find this one difficult or struggle for balance, an alternative to this would be to kneel down on the floor and lean back until you feel the stretch in your quads. Be careful not to twist your knees!. 

HAMSTRING STRETCH (BACK OF THIGH)

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– Keep the front leg straight and bend at the knee of the back leg.

-Sit back on the bent support leg with bottom out and keep your straight back

-Feel stretch on back of thigh of straight leg

ADDUCTOR STRETCH (INSIDE THIGH)

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-Stand with your feet a little over shoulder width apart

-Keep your back straight and feet forward

-Lean to one side, bending that knee

-Feel stretch on inside thigh of straight leg.

SIDE OF TRUNK

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-Stand with your feet a little over shoulder width apart

-Keep the back straight and take your arm over your head

-Feel stretch down side of trunk

LOWER BACK, HIPS AND GLUTES!

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-Keeping the lower leg straight bring one of the knees up as far as possible and hug it towards the body.

-Gently pull the leg into the body.

-Feel the stretch in your lower back, glutes and hips

 CALVES, SHINS AND THIGHS!

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-Sit with your legs extended in front of you

– Keep your toes pointed up to the sky

– Learn forwards keeping the back straight.

-Feel the stretch in your calves, shins and thighs!

If you can’t touch your toes comfortably use a towel around the bottom of your feet to help you stretch

HAMSTRINGS AND HIPS!

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-Keeping one leg straight, bend the other and rest the sole of the foot against the inside of your straight leg.

-Lean slightly forward from the hips

-Feel the stretch the hamstring of your straight leg and hip of the bent one.

If you can’t touch your toes comfortably use a towel around the bottom of your foot to help you stretch

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-Get into a lunge position with back knee resting on the ground.

-Keep your upper body tall and press forward with your hip.

-Feel the stretch in the hip of the back leg

Happy Stretching!

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