Workout stretches: How to stretch after a run – seven stretches you should do at home

Stretching is the last thing you want to do when you’ve finished a sweaty morning run, but it is essential. Although you’d rather hop in the shower and collapse back into bed, stretching will help you cool down and prevent aching the next day. tells you how to stretch after a run.

The NHS website stresses the importance of stretching after exercise and offers seven stretches you can do after a run.

The advice says: “Performing stretching exercises after a run will help you cool down gradually and improve your flexibility.

“These stretches are best done after exercising when your muscles are warm and more elastic.

“Breathe deeply and regularly during the stretches.

“Aim to stretch to the point of feeling tightness or slight discomfort.

“You shouldn’t feel any pain when doing these exercises. If you do, stop and seek medical advice.”

The NHS advises you to hold each stretch for 15 seconds.

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Hip flexor stretch

This is the go-to stretch in PE lessons for a reason.

Your hip flexors are a group of muscles near the top of your thighs, and they allow you to walk, bend, kick, swivel your hips, and run.

This stretch is important in loosening the muscles because tight hip flexors can stretch or tear during exercise.

Step your left leg forward, keeping both feet pointing straight ahead.

Keeping your back leg straight and avoiding sticking your buttock out and arching your back, slowly bend your front leg and push your right buttock forward until you feel a stretch across the front of your right hip joint.

Repeat with the other leg.

Thigh stretch

Stretching your thighs is important after any form of exercise that uses your legs.

By stretching them, you increase the amount of blood that is flowing into them and loosen up the muscle tissue. This prevents tears and injuries.

Grab the top of your left foot behind you and gently pull your heel towards your left buttock to stretch the front of the thigh, keeping the knees touching.

Avoid leaning forwards or to the side. Repeat with the other leg.

If you struggle with balance, hold on to a stable surface, or lean on a wall.

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Hamstring stretch

Stretching your hamstrings can have a positive impact on your lower back.

Tight hamstrings reduce the mobility of the pelvis, which can add pressure to the lower back.

If you loosen your hamstrings, they will support your back and pelvis.

Stand with your right leg just in front of the other and your hands on your hips.

Keeping your right leg straight and toes pointing up, bend your left leg.

Bend towards your right leg, keeping your back straight. Repeat with the other leg.

Iliotibial band stretch

Your iliotibial band, also known as your ITB, is a thick band of connective tissue that runs from the outside of your hip to your outer knee and shinbone.

Ever heard of runner’s knee? It’s also known as ITB syndrome and occurs from overusing your ITB.

This can lead to pain, irritation, and inflammation around the knee.

If you stretch your ITB, the muscles around it will become more flexible and stronger.

This will prevent ITB-related-injuries from happening.

Keeping both feet on the ground, lean to your left side and push your right hip outwards.

Don’t bend forward or stick your buttocks out. Repeat with the other leg.

You should feel the stretch along your outer right thigh and hip.

Calf stretch

Your calves are prone to tearing if they are really tight.

If you stretch calves after running, you’re more likely to prevent injuries.

Stretching your calf muscles will provide better support for your lower legs, feet, and ankles.

All of these need to be healthy for running, so this stretch is perfect for those who frequently run.

Step your right leg forward, bend your front leg, and keep your back leg straight. Both feet should point forwards.

Push your left heel into the ground, keeping your left leg straight and repeat with the other leg.

You should feel the stretch at the back of your left leg, below the knee.

Lower back stretch

It’s frustrating when you love exercising but your lower back reacts badly to it.

Many runners experience lower back pain because of the stress and impact running puts on your body.

If the bones in your vertebrae are aggravated already, running will make the pain worse.

Don’t worry, you can stretch to avoid this.

Lie on your back with both feet flat. Pull your right knee to your chest until you feel a stretch in your lower back.

Hold for up to 15 seconds and repeat with the left leg.

Then pull both knees to your chest and hold for up to 15 seconds.

Buttock stretch

Yes, that’s right. You need to stretch your bum after you’ve completed a run.

Your glutes will tighten up if you overuse them during exercise, and this can lead to a number of other injuries.

Stretch your buttocks after you run to relax the muscles and alleviate pain.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and both feet flat on the floor. Cross your right leg over your left thigh.

Grasp the back of your left thigh with both hands and pull the left leg toward your chest. Repeat with the other leg.

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