10 post-run stretching tips and why to do them

Post-race stretching is a remedy for a tired body and, at the same time, preparation for the next practice that will take place the next day or in a few days. See how to do them correctly and avoid strains and other problems.

Stretching post-race helps an athlete, whether amateur or professional, to show their body that the practice of the sport has ended and also prepare it for days of activity that are yet to come, but stretching before the race also has its value!

The practice not only helps cool down or warm up the body, but also allows you to avoid pain related to physical exertion and prepares your muscles for the next activity.

Of course, everyone needs to be aware of their body movements while stretching at any given time. There are also correct positions and some precautions, especially so that no one faces problems in the grand finale of a sport, including running.

Come with us to learn how to perform the movements correctly and decide, after all, when you want to include them in your routine.

Why do athletes need to stretch?

Athletes need to stretch to warm up the body before sports and to cool it down gradually after exercise.

Among other things, the practice helps prevent and avoid different types of injuries, as well as showing the body that a physical activity is beginning or ending.

What are the benefits of stretching?

In general, regardless of the sporting activity practiced by the athlete and whether he is an amateur or professional athlete, his gains from stretching his body before and after exercise involve:

  • reduced risk of muscle injuries;
  • reduction of cramps and torticollis;
  • muscle relaxation;
  • decreased wear during physical activity;
  • increased body flexibility;
  • reduction of muscle stiffness and tension;
  • better performance and yield;
  • prevention of spinal complications and problems related to posture;
  • increased blood circulation and oxygenation; It is
  • prevention of wear and tear on muscles and joints.

All of these benefits are valid for runners too and, of course, help to feel the effects of physical activity on the body .

How about stretching when you’re not running?

Experts recommend that a longer stretch with a greater amount of movement is done neither before nor after the run, but precisely on the day you choose not to go out for a run.

Create a routine, move your skeleton three times a week for 15 to 20 minutes, lubricate your joints and “stretch” your muscles, preparing yourself for what is to come and alleviating symptoms of the effort that has already been made previously.

What stretches to do after running?

There are not just a few exercises used as stretching after running, but several.

Some are preferred by athletes who train as beginners and others are only on the list of those who have been practicing physical activity for a long time. Some focus more on the arms and neck, others on the spine, and some on the legs, calves, and feet.

Calf exercises , stretching the hamstrings, glutes and quadriceps and even the chest can be done standing up. The one for the hamstrings and glutes can be done standing or lying down, while the one for the hamstrings and hips requires more flexibility.

What are the main post-run stretches?

We have separated for you the 10 main types of stretches that can be done after running. See what they are and how to accomplish them.

1. Ankle Stretch

This one is easy: that rotation movement, first with one foot and then the other.

  1. Place the tip of one of your feet on the floor, leaving the back off the ground.
  2. With the help of your toes, move your lower leg in a round design multiple times clockwise and another 15 counterclockwise.
  3. Repeat the same rotation movement with the other foot.

The circular movement can also be done to warm up the hips in the same way! First, a few turns clockwise and then others counterclockwise. The wider the circle, the better!

2. Stretching for the tendons of the foot

Specifically for the Achilles tendon, this stretch is also simple. It can be done standing up:

  1. Align your torso and separate your feet, placing them in the same direction as your shoulders.
  2. Bend one of your knees.
  3. Place your weight on the foot of the same leg that has your knee bent.
  4. Lift the back of your foot, leaving the tips resting on the floor until you feel your heel stretching. Stay in this position for a few moments and return to normal posture.
  5. Repeat the movement with the same leg two more times and do the same thing on the other leg, three times in total.

3. Calf stretch

That exercise of raising and lowering just the back of the foot until the calf feels a little “burned”, you know? It’s called ” plantar flexion .”

  1. Start the exercise with both feet flat on the floor and your body straight.
  2. Without bending your spine, lift the soles of both feet off the floor, distributing your weight on the tip of each of them. You don’t need to raise your heel too much, just don’t touch the ground for 15-30 seconds.
  3. Then return to the original position.
  4. Repeat the movement at least two more times.

3. Leg stretch and simple hip stretch (swing)

People tend to like this one! The pleasant swing with your legs from side to side and then back and forth.

  1. Align your entire body, hips, shoulders and feet, keeping them in a straight vertical line.
  2. Always look straight ahead, with your neck stretched.
  3. Take one of your legs off the floor a little, keeping the other as steady as possible.
  4. Without turning your torso, swing the leg that is off the floor from one side to the other. Sway for 15-20 seconds.
  5. Repeat the movement with the other leg.
  6. Then, swing the same leg you used at the beginning of the exercise back and forth, also being careful not to move any other part of the body. Feel your hips stretching and remain “in the swing” for at least 15 seconds.
  7. Repeat the movement with the opposite leg.

4. Standing stretch for thighs (posterior)

Another one that you can feel on your skin – and it’s nice to do, as long as you’re careful to avoid overdoing it.

  1. Stand upright, with your body straight and your arms “drooping” at your sides.
  2. Raise your left leg, bending your knee as if making a “table” and your right arm, stretching it forward or upward.
  3. Stay in the position for 20-30 seconds.
  4. Now lift your right leg and left arm.
  5. Also remain in the position for at least 20 seconds.
  6. Alternate movements so that each side of the body is stretched three or more times.

Another option for those who want to stretch the back is to lie on a specific gymnastics mattress and use a specific elastic band or a towel folded lengthwise, passing it around the top of the sole of one of the feet.

Then, pull the towel or elastic towards your lying body and, slowly and without removing your spine from the mattress, lift the leg that is “trapped”. Feel the muscles stretching for 20-30 seconds and repeat the same with the other leg.

6. Quadriceps stretch

Standing again with your body straight, look straight ahead without bending your neck in any direction.

  1. Lift one of your legs, bending it backwards to form a “V” shape.
  2. Keep the other leg firmly on the floor, bending the knee very slightly to prevent any pain or muscle problems.
  3. Hold the instep of the leg that is bent.
  4. Pull your foot towards your glutes, trying to touch your heel to them.
  5. Remain in the position for 15-30 seconds and slowly release your foot until it touches the floor again.
  6. Repeat with the other leg.

7. Stretching for spine, arms and neck

An exercise for the spine that is almost a relaxation session for the entire spine.

  1. Standing with your spine straight, extend your arms forward, leaving them straight as well.
  2. Slowly lower your body without letting your spine form a “C” shape.
  3. Keep your arms straight and try to bring them as close to your feet as possible.
  4. Let your neck “fall” down, avoiding unnecessary tension behind your head.
  5. Feel your body relax and remain in the position for 30 seconds.

8. Body twist

A stretch done sitting down, is that ok? This time, to stretch the back, the sides of the hips and even the rib cage.

  1. Sit on a gym-specific mat or mat with your torso straight and your hips in line with your back.
  2. Stretch both legs.
  3. Flex one of them, forming a “four” right next to the other leg, which remains stretched.
  4. Interlock your hands and bring them to the knee of the leg that is bent, without losing your straight posture or letting your neck bend.
  5. Slowly pull the knee you are holding toward you until you feel a gentle stretch.
  6. Hold the position for 30 seconds, pulling your knee a little more every time you breathe and release the air.
  7. Do the same with the other leg.

9. “Butterfly”

Another seated stretch, which starts in the butterfly pose and allows for a wonderful stretch of the spine.

  1. Sitting on the floor, on a mat or mattress specifically for gymnastics, bend both knees in a diamond shape and bring the soles of both feet together, letting them touch each other.
  2. Keep your spine straight and ease the pressure on your neck.
  3. Stretch your arms up, interlock your hands.
  4. Lower your spine slowly, without losing posture.
  5. Bring your clasped hands towards your feet, which have their soles together. Your goal is to hold them together, either at the tip, underneath or at the heel if you can’t reach further.
  6. When holding your feet, use them as support to pull your body further and further forward, but without straining your spine and neck and tilting your hips until you feel them stretch.
  7. Stay in the position for 30 seconds and, as you gain confidence, lower your spine further – thinking about touching your forehead to your feet or the floor.

Respect your limits.

10. Relaxation

Last but not least, a delicious relaxation exercise done lying down on a place or mattress suitable for warming up and exercising.

  1. Lie down with your skeleton all aligned.
  2. Breathe and inhale a few times before starting.
  3. Bend your knees, leaving the soles of your feet flat on the floor.
  4. Slowly and without moving your spine, bring your bent knees towards your chest.
  5. Also stretch your arms without moving your head or neck and hug your knees if you can.
  6. Take a deep breath and inhale slowly, relaxing all tension in your body as you release the air.
  7. Feel the back of your head and back touching the floor smoothly, effortlessly.
  8. Stay in the position for 1 minute.
  9. Slowly release your knees, touching the soles of your feet to the floor and then straighten your legs until you are completely lying down again.

To finish, stretch your entire body.

Without lifting, extend your arms above your head and make sure your legs are also straight.

If you want, bend your feet as if you were trying to do a ballerina pointe. Stretch your fingers out wide as well, as if you were trying to make them longer than they are.

Always breathing and inhaling slowly, remain in the position for 30 seconds, feeling your muscles that work so hard.

Leave a Comment