Stretches for Runners

luluStretching is an important component to any fitness routine.  I love to actively stretch and encourage all my friends and students to practice yoga on a regular basis.  However, if you can’t get to class here are a few static stretches you can do AFTER your run (when your muscles are warm and joints lubricated) to help with recovery. Stretching helps improve performance and prevent aches and pains.

1. Seated Hamstring Stretch- 

Sit on the floor, with your left leg out straight and your right leg bent inward, placing your right foot inside your left thigh.  Arms come over head. Take an inhale and on your exhale place your hands down on either side of your left leg, as close to your left foot as possible. Continue to breathe.  On each exhale fold a little deeper. Keep your spine long and back flat.

Hold stretch for 30 seconds then switch side.

2. Quad Stretch-

Stand tall, holding onto a chair, wall, etc… for balance. Keep your feet hip-width distance apart, your back straight and your feet parallel. Reach back and grab your left foot in your left hand, thighs parallel to one another and your left leg is in line with the hip. Breathe!

Hold stretch for 30 seconds then switch sides

3. Figure Four Stretch-

Lie on your back. Keep your hips level and your back down on the floor. Bend your  knees.  Cross your left ankle above your right knee. Grab behind your right thigh, right foot comes off the floor. Actively, press your left ankle into your right knee and your right knee into your left ankle. Keep your back and shoulders down, send energy our to your toes and breathe.  You can even take your left hand and press it into the left knee for a deeper stretch.

Breathe deeply and hold 30 seconds then switch sides.