Post-Run Stretches

Running or jogging uses many of the body’s muscles, particularly those within the legs, feet, and back. Forgetting to stretch after running can cause muscles to become tense and painful, which may keep an individual from achieving their fitness goals.

People should stretch after every run while the muscles are still warm and hold each stretch for 10–30 seconds. it’s helpful to specialise in inhaling and out throughout the stretch.

Stretches shouldn’t cause pain, and an individual should stop the stretch immediately if they’re finding it painful. In most cases, it’s possible to switch a stretch to tailor it to the individual’s level of flexibility.

In this article, study which stretches are best for runners by muscle group.

1. The knee hug

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, up to 80% of adults experience lower back pain during their lifetime.

a gif of The knee hug

Causes of lower back pain include work and prolonged sitting, but poor recovery after running also can cause back problems.

The knee hug can stretch out the rear muscles and relieve tension.

To do this stretch:

  • Lie down on a mat with the rear flat on the ground .
  • Slowly bend the knees and convey them in on the brink of the chest.
  • Grasp the shins, pulling them in gently, and hold for 30 seconds.
  • Slowly lower the legs backtrack to the ground .

2. Child’s Pose

This pose stretches the muscles within the back of the torso and therefore the shoulders. to try to to Child’s Pose:

a gif of childs pose
  • Kneel on a mat with the toes pointed behind the body and therefore the buttocks resting on the rear of the feet.
  • Bend forward at the waist and slowly lower the chest right down to the knees.
  • Stretch the arms above the top . The hands should be flat on the mat, and therefore the elbows should be straight.
  • Gently reach forward and hold for 30 seconds.
  • Bring the arms back in and slowly stay up .

3. Kneeling hip flexor stretch

The hip flexors are the group of muscles within the area where the thighs meet the torso. Tight hip flexors can cause hip and lower back pain, especially in runners

a gif of Kneeling hip flexor stretch


Due to the role that they play in lifting the legs, tight hips can interfere with a runner’s progress. Extended periods sitting at a desk or during a car also can contribute to tightness within the hip flexors.

To do a kneeling hip flexor stretch, follow these instructions:

  • From a standing position, slide the proper foot behind the body and sink to the proper knee.
  • Rest both hands on the left knee.
  • Gently lean the body forward and straighten the proper hip.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Pull the proper foot back in toward the body and get up . Switch legs and repeat.

4. Standing quad stretch

The quadriceps or “quads” are the muscles within the front of the thigh. Without proper stretching, activities like running and biking can cause tight quads.

a gif of Standing quad stretch

When these muscles become tense and tight, they will cause misalignment within the hips and back, which may end in pain. The quadriceps also help support the knee, so having strong and versatile quads can help alleviate knee pain.

To do a standing quad stretch, an individual should:

  • Stand up straight with the feet hip-width apart. If necessary, put the left on a wall or sturdy object for balance.
  • Bend the proper knee and convey the proper foot behind the body toward the buttocks.
  • Grab the proper foot with the proper hand.
  • Keep the proper knee pointed toward the ground and gently push the hips forward very slightly, keeping the knees and thighs together.
  • Hold for 30 seconds then switch legs.

5. Seated hamstring stretch

The hamstrings are the massive muscles that run up the rear of the thighs. They hook up with the hip flexors, gluteal muscles, and calves.

a gif of Seated hamstring stretch

When the hamstrings are tight, this will cause lower back and knee pain. Having flexible hamstrings is vital for overall mobility when running.

To do a seated hamstring stretch:

  • Sit on the ground with the proper leg extended and therefore the left leg bent with the knee on the ground . The left foot should rest on the within of the proper thigh.
  • Bend forward at the waist, keeping the rear straight.
  • Hold onto the proper foot, ankle, or lower leg (depending on flexibility), feeling the stretch within the back of the leg.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  • Return to a sitting position and repeat on the opposite leg.

6. Toe touch

This stretch also can improve the pliability of the hamstrings.

a gif of toe touches

To do a toe touch, an individual can:

  • Stand with the feet together or shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep the knees straight but not locked.
  • Bending at the hips, slowly lower the top down toward the knees, keeping the rear as straight as possible.
  • Reach the fingers toward the toes, and let the neck relax.
  • Hold for up to 30 seconds.
  • Rise slowly copy to standing.

7. The wall push

a gif of a wall push

Running without stretching can cause tight calves. Tight calves can create heel pain thanks to plantar fasciitis. Many athletes also know the pain of a spasm , or “Charley horse,” within the calf thanks to tight muscles during this a part of the body. To stretch out tight calves after a run:

  • Face a wall, standing about an arm’s length faraway from it.
  • Put both hands on the wall at shoulder height.
  • Take an outsized step backward with the proper foot. Keep the rear straight.
  • Press the hands into the wall and both heels into the ground .
  • Feel the stretch within the right calf.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Bring the proper foot back in toward the body, switch sides, and repeat.

8. Downward Dog

a gif of downward dog

Downward Dog may be a common yoga pose which will also stretch the calf muscles. to try to to Downward Dog:

  • Get on the hands and knees, with the hands directly under the shoulders and therefore the knees under the hips.
  • Walk the feet back in order that the body is during a plank position with the arms straight.
  • Slowly bring the hips up toward the ceiling in order that the body creates the form of an upside-down V. Keep the arms straight, with the elbows next to the ears and therefore the palms on the ground .
  • Keep the top , neck, and back during a line .
  • Press the heels down toward the ground and hold.
  • Slowly lower the hips backtrack and return to hands and knees.

9. Ankle mobility heel lifts

The ankles exerting while an individual is running to stabilize the feet and propel the body forward.

a gif of Ankle mobility heel lifts

However, these small joints also are susceptible to injuries, like strains and sprains. People can improve ankle mobility with this stretch:

  • Stand with the rear straight.
  • Slowly get up onto the balls of the feet, taking care to not lock the knees.
  • Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Lower the heels backtrack to the ground .
  • Repeat the exercise 3 times.

10. Seated twist

The gluteal muscles are large and powerful . People use them while running, climbing, and standing up from a seated position.

a gif of seated twist

Having strong muscles within the buttocks may help support the leg muscles during a run.

The seated twist stretch works the muscles within the back of the thigh and therefore the buttock. to try to to this stretch:

  • Sit on a mat and stretch the legs call at front of the body.
  • Bring the left leg over the proper leg and place the left foot on the ground , bending the left knee.
  • Twist to the left and use the proper arm to press the left knee gently inward.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Untwist and repeat on the opposite side

Preventing common running injuries

Any exercise — including running — can pose an injury risk. Taking some precautions can help people prevent injuries:

  • Ease into running. When people start incorporating running into their exercise regimen, they often run too often or too far initially, which may put them at a better risk of stress fractures. In runners, up to twenty of musculoskeletal injuries are stress fractures. it’s important to extend the space , frequency, and intensity of running gradually.
  • Wear proper trainers . Running are often hard on the feet, especially if the person is running on pavement. People can buy quality shoes that are comfortable which manufacturers have designed specifically for running. the overall advice is to exchange them every 300 to 500 miles or before they begin to seem worn.
  • Warm up. Do some brisk walking and gradually speed up to a jog. workout to the specified running speed after the muscles are warm.


Stretching may help improve flexibility and stop pain and stiffness. It are often helpful to try to to gentle stretching after a run to scale back soreness and tight muscles.

Runners should make certain to stretch all muscle groups within the legs, hips, and lower back. Anyone starting a replacement fitness regimen should speak to a healthcare professional.

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