I have never been someone to stretch….or to even stretch well, but after some pelvic floor instability after my second son, I found myself in physical therapy and seeing 2 chiropractors for my issues. As a runner, we are broken down and weathered, and stretching MUST be a part of the mix. Here’s ones I’ve found that help me immensely!
- Runner’s Lunge Stretch – Bend one knee in a lunge, let the other drop behind and press forward from your hip of the bent leg. This will help open the hips and give relief to pain from tight hip flexors (common among runners)
- Straight leg hamstring stretch – lie flat on your back, with 1 leg straight and fully extended on the ground and the other as straight as you can get facing the ceiling. Work on total straightness and pull from behind the knee.
- Wide Leg standing stretch – Legs wider than your shoulders in a V – reach down to one side to stretch the back of your hamstrings. Lean to the other side after 30 seconds.
- Rounded Shoulder stretch – Kneel on the floor on your legs, pulling one arm behind your back to open up your shoulders (as runners we tend to hunch and hold everything forward)
- Hip Opener – Squat low to the ground with toes out and rock back and forth pushing on the inside of your knees so they go out just a little until you feel a stretch
- Dorsiflexion – Flex one foot, heel to the sky, sit back on the other until you feel a nice full on the back of the leg.
These are just a few to open the hips and stretch our your legs after a great run. Remember, before a run, do a dynamic workout like butt kicks, light jogging, and high knees. Stretching should occur after your body is warm and limber. Hold each for 30 seconds and make sure to perform on both sides of the body.