Get Fit__ Stretches Every Runner Needs To Be Doing
You’re no newbie to the running game, so you obviously know how sore you can be after a long run. Stretching it out after any workout is important, but running targets different muscles than other types of exercise. Here are some stretches that we think the runner in you needs and will really love.
You may not think of squatting as a stretch, but it definitely can be. Squatting onto a pillow can reduce leg swelling and stretch out your entire lower body. Don’t squat up and down though— lower into a squat and hold the pose for a few minutes instead.
It’s really important to stretch your quads after a run, especially if you’ve been running up a lot of hills. Try a simple quad stretch by standing and grabbing your foot behind you, and pulling up gently. Do this right after your run for maximum benefits.
Not stretching your hammies after you run can lead to lower-back problems and pulled muscles. Your range of motion is also extremely limited when you have tight hamstrings, so you won’t be able to run as fast and your form can suffer. To stretch them out, lay on your back and put one leg straight up in the air, pulling it toward you gently.
Your piriformis muscle tends to tighten up when you run, which can lead to thigh, back and glute pain — a combination no runner wants. To stretch out your piriformis muscle, lie on your back with your legs extended, then bend one knee toward your chest and across your body, then repeat on the other leg.
Every runner knows that tight calves can be your worst enemy. They shorten your stride, slow you down and make running really painful. Stretching out your calves can help all of these problems, plus prevent shin splints. Try stretching your calves by standing up with your hands touching a wall that’s about 12 inches away from your body. Step one foot forward, then switch to the other foot.