Magazine / Lifestyle / Fitness

Solo Running: Post Running Stretches

Teodora Cozma
Editor-in-Chief
On Jan 15th, 2021

Try these four easy and effective stretches at the end of your running session. Improve your flexibility and performance by engaging in these stretches immediately after your workout.

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More and more people turn to running as a lifestyle choice to maintain their fitness levels and lose weight. Running has the advantages of not requiring a costly upfront investment in equipment purchasing and of being safely performed outdoors.

However, before going for a run, it is essential to learn a few helpful tips about preparing your body before a running session's strenuous activity. After the workout, focus on stretching the muscles while they are still warm and elastic. In episode four of the Solo Running mini-series, we focus on four stretching exercises for your cooling down routine.

Hamstring Stretches

Performing a standing hamstring stretch is easy and can be done anywhere. Place your left foot on a small elevation and point your toes to the sky. Straighten your left leg without locking the knee while raising the arms parallel to your ears. Square your hips and bend forward while keeping your back straight towards your left leg. Feel the stretch in your hamstrings and hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat the movement three times for each leg. If you feel pain, stop immediately and check in with a physical therapist.

Benefits

The hamstring is located at the back of your thigh and is responsible for bending or flexing your knees. They are connected to your hip joint at the back of the thigh and help your gluteal muscle extend your leg during your run. The hamstrings and quadriceps give the power to the runner during the workout. If these muscles become tight during the activity, then injuries are likely to occur.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretches

Kneel on your left knee and place your right leg in front of you with a knee at 90-degree angle. Focus on having your buttock tucked in and your back straight while driving your left hip forward. Hold the position for 30 seconds before moving to the right hip. Aim to repeat the hold on each side three times.

Benefits

Tightness in the hips can be encountered mostly in people who have a desk-based working life. Excessive sitting causes the muscles to deactivate and become weaker and shorter, causing discomfort and pain. Stretching can reduce muscle tightness and pain.

Standing Thigh Stretches

Bend your left leg behind you and securely grab it with your left arm. Maintain balance and breathe while keeping the knees close to each other. Focus on gently bringing your left foot closer toward your glutes without separating the knees or leaning to the front. Hold the position for 30 seconds before moving to the right leg. Repeat the exercise 3 times for each leg.

Benefits

Your thigh muscles can become tight during the running, and a stretching routine can improve flexibility in this muscle group. Tension in the quadriceps can lead to back pain. Quads are heavily involved in running uphill and practising this exercise will lead to an improved range of motion. Standing thigh stretches are a great exercise to do even during the workdays if seated for most of the day.

Glute Stretches

Stand behind a chair, back home, or use a fence if you are still outside. Bend forward until your upper body is parallel to the floor and place your hands on the backrest or railing. Ensure you are keeping your legs straight without locking the knees and holding the position for one minute. Breathe deeply and slowly to allow your body to relax.

Benefits

Stretching your glutes will release muscle tension accumulated during your running session. Furthermore, it can help relieve lower back pain and tightness in the hips. Stretching your glutes will improve your overall flexibility and range of motion.

Running is a strenuous workout and if you want to avoid the risk of injury then stretching immediately after your training is crucial. Follow the easy stretches in this article and enjoy your running experience. Suppose you find yourself low in motivation to start working out check some tips and tricks to get in the right mindset. Also, remember to reward yourself with a healthy and nutritional smoothie at the end of your workout. The Zero Calories Smoothie recipe is my favourite! Use #SoloRunning on social media to share your best moments of your running routine.

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