So you got your butt outta bed. You laced up. You powered through that first tough mile, found your groove and busted out an awesome run. Congrats! Now for the hardest part – stretching.
This is an area I slack on. After a run. I just want to shower and EAT! However, I know stretching is important to help muscles get back to their starting length and recover, so I’m trying to get better at it. There are some great stretches for runners that hit a few muscle groups at once. These are key for me because it means I can get it done faster. So, before you unlace those kicks, give those muscles some love with the 4 Stretches Every Runner Needs. Then throw in some foam rolling and hit the showers.
- Flamingo Stretch – targets quads & hips
Stand with feet hip width apart. Bend the left leg up behind you and hold foot by your butt (use a wall for balance if need be). Keep torso upright and left knee pointed down toward the floor. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat on the opposite side.
- Toe Up Stretch – targets calves & hamstrings
Face a wall and stagger your feet, placing the right foot slightly behind you and the ball of your left foot up against the wall (with the left heel on the floor). Keep the left knee straight as you press into the wall with your hands and foot until you feel a good stretch up your calf and the back of your leg. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat on the opposite side.
- Figure Four Stretch – targets hips & glutes
Start standing with feet hip width apart. Bring your left leg up and cross it over your right leg, creating a 4. Slowly slide the hips back as if going to sit in a chair. Use a wall for balance if needed. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat on the opposite side.
- Tango Kneeling Stretch – targets quads & hips
Start in a kneeling position, with the left leg on the floor behind you and the right leg at 90 degrees. Squeeze and tuck in your glutes, tilting your pelvis forward just slightly until you feel a stretch in the front of the hip. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat on the opposite side.
There you have it! I gave the stretches some fun names to make them seem more exciting. WOO STRETCHING! (Too far? Ok..) You can complete this whole routine in four minutes. Then be sure to get in some foam rolling and you’re good to go!
Are you a stretch-skipper?
What’s your favorite runner’s stretch?
This post is linked up with Wild Workout Wednesdays.