The jury is out on whether stretching after a run is beneficial or not. Some studies show that stretching after a run is not very beneficial and will not help towards injury prevention. Regardless, stretching helps to improve flexibility, and I personally like to stretch after I workout.
Here are 7 stretches that you can do post-run to hit the major muscle groups that were utilized during your workout. Try and hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds:
Standing Quad Stretch
Keeping a soft bend in the standing leg, hold your opposite foot in your hand and draw your heel towards your glute, lengthening the front of your thigh. Try and keep your bent knee pointing straight down to the ground.
Keep one hand on a steady surface to help balance. Cross one ankle outside your opposite thigh and sit your hips back, keeping your back straight. Feel free to roll the lifted ankle out a few times in each direction to loosen up your ankle joint.
Inner Thigh and Hamstring Stretch
Bring one foot onto a railing, chair or bench, keeping hips squared forward. Flex foot and reach opposite arm overhead so that you get a stretch throughout your side body, too.
Standing Calf and Hamstring Stretch
Bend one knee and extend opposite leg forward, keeping it straight with your toes pointing up to the sky. Hinging from your hips and maintaining a flat back, gently reach for your toes or keep your hand on your shin.
Step right leg back into a lunge. Hold your lunge and reach your right arm up and overhead to the left. Keep your front knee over your front ankle. Slightly tuck your tailbone and gently press your hips forward to deepen the stretch. You can also perform this stretch with your back knee on the ground.
Stand upright with your feet hip width apart and your knees soft. Class your hands together behind your back, or hold a towel in each hand if you cannot reach. Bending your knees, forward fold, reaching your knuckles up to the sky. Make sure to keep your head and neck relaxed and focus on drawing the should blades together on your back to open your chest.
Walk your feet so that they are slightly wider than your hips, and turn your toes outwards to about 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock. Start to sink your hips down into a deep squat, doing your best to keep your heels flat on the floor. Bringing your elbows to the insides of your knees with your palms together will help to gently open your groin. Keep your chest lifted and your spine long.