Feeling achy after a run? You might not be doing the right post-workout stretches.
Warming up is essential to get your muscles ready before your run. It helps to prepare them and keep them engaged, improving your workout and preventing injury. However, cooling down is just as important. Post-run stretches will help to relax and loosen the muscles so they do not feel tight, reducing the chances of feeling sore the next day. Here are some of our favourite floor stretches for runners.
(Also read: 6 Stretches You Must Do Before & After a Run)
Ankles: Ankle rotation
Easy rotations help to stretch the ankles and relax your feet and toes. Flex and release your feet and wriggle your toes to release any tension. You can do easy ankle stretches by moving your feet up and down, then rotate it clockwise 20 times. Repeat it anticlockwise 20 times.
(Also read: 7 Easy Stretches You Must Do Every Morning)
Calves: Downward dog
The downward dog is vital in many people’s yoga practice because it allows you to rest and breathe while stretching the whole body. It stretches the upper body, hamstrings, and the hard to stretch calves.
Start in plank position with hands below shoulders and feet slightly apart. Lift hips up and move body back to flatten feet. Your arms should be straight; knees can be bent if you have tight hamstrings. Keep your back straight and breathe slowly. For a deeper stretch, straighten the knees and press the heels flat on the ground. Lift your toes if you can.
Hamstrings: Half or full split
Start in a kneeling position. Bring one foot forward until the back knee is at a 90-degree angle. Catch the front ankle and lean forward. If you can, move into a full split for a deeper stretch.
(Also read: Marie Choo’s 10 Tips on Running Your First Marathon)
Inner thighs: Lizard pose
Start in a plank pose. Bring your right foot beside the right palm. Bounce softly to stretch the hips. To go deeper, place your forearms on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute. Repeat on the other side.
(Also read: Foam Rolling Exercises For Runners)
Pelvis: Happy baby
The pelvic area is usually tight after running or staying in the same position for an extended period of time.
To release, lie flat face up. Bring both legs up to 90 degrees and bend the knees. Rest knees outside the body while holding your feet. Pull feet down to further open the hips.
(Also read: 10 Common Mistakes That Make Running More Tiring)
Quads: Child’s pose
This is a great wind-down pose that also gives your quads a gentle stretch.
Start in a kneeling position. Sit firmly down onto your ankles. Lean forward and stretch your arms forward. Relax and enjoy.
(Also read: Tara Stiles’ Best Yoga Poses for Tight Muscles)