Interested in yoga for runners with a major focus on injury prevention?
Want to spend less time injured? Interested in improving your running efficiency? Would you like to get back to running more quickly with less soreness? These 5 stretches are my personal favorite stretches for after a run. They will help you improve mobility, reduce your risk of injury, recover more quickly, and (over time) even make you a better runner!
Watch the video or scroll down to read the full description for my 5 best post-run stretches for runners.
#1 – Reclined Quadriceps Stretch
The reclined quadriceps stretch is a fantastic post-running stretch for runners that helps to prevent knee injury, relieve tightness in the knees and thighs, and reduce soreness the next day. It speeds up your recovery, so you can get back to running more quickly, and it ultimately builds the potential strength in your quadricep for more endurance, faster miles, and a smoother ride! Hold for 45-60 seconds on both sides for the best results.
#2 – Half Split
Half split is one of my favorites for after a run, because in addition to stretching your hamstrings and calves (this would be enough if these two were the only benefits!) it also helps to relieve tightness in your spine. This helps to relieve lower-back discomfort or pain caused by the pound and ground of stride after stride, whether you run on the pavement, grass, trail, or treadmill. This one is essential to taking care of your ankles, knees, hips, and spine! Make sure to keep your chest upright for this one. Hold for 45-60 seconds on both sides.
#3 – Pigeon
Pigeon is fantastic run for helping to reduce pressure or discomfort in your lower back caused by hip tightness. It’s a stretch that most runners don’t do, but a surprisingly regular culprit of lower-back pain. Pigeon targets your external hip rotators (your glutes, or your butt muscles), and this is important because your external hip rotators affect the feeling of tightness in your lower-back. Stretch these muscles, and you reduce the pressure caused by these muscles pulling on your lower-back. Great for after any workout – not just running! And an awesome cure for lower-back pain in general. Do pigeon on both sides for 45-60 seconds.
#4 – Lizard
This stretch is all about your hip flexors. As runners, we tend to get tight in the hips from the repetitive stride. You can be very fast, strong runner, and STILL have tight hips. Stretching your hip flexors allows you to keep these important muscles that connect your legs to your spine happy, and using the lizard position shown here helps you get an even deeper, more satisfying stretch. Try it out! You can use any prop you have handy to help get your chest higher off the ground, and thus get a better stretch for the hip flexor. Hold lizard for a minimum of 45 seconds, and up to 90 seconds.
#5 – Wide-legged Forward Fold (with groin stretches)
This combo is great for helping to stretch the muscles that connect to your hips and spine. Starting in a wide-legged position with forward fold, slowly bent into one knee while keeping the other straight, and then switch every few seconds or so. This helps to stretch your inner thighs, groin, spine, and even your ankles! Doing this will help you take care of every joint in your body from the waist-down, and will also help you get back to running more quickly by speeding up your recovery time. Spend a minimum of 60 seconds in this pose, and up to 90 seconds.
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About the author, Dean Pohlman, Founder & CEO of Man Flow Yoga, Author of Yoga Fitness for Men, Expert on Yoga Fitness for Men.
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