Smash your stretch goals
Yes, we’ve all done it – forgotten to stretch after a run because we’re keen to refuel and get on with the rest of our day.
But we all know that stretching is an important part of the training process – and if you skip a stretch, you may well regret it later down the line when injury is more likely to creep in.
We caught up with Sam Murphy, a coach and author of countless books on running, to learn about the five essential post-run stretches that all runners can squeeze into their routines.
These top stretches, explained below, will only take you a couple of minutes to complete and leave you feeling much fresher the next time you head out for a run.
Try to hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds on each leg.
1. Standing quad stretch
- How: Standing on one leg (using a wall for balance, if necessary), take hold of the top of the foot on your other leg and draw it towards your backside as your squeeze your knees together. You should feel the stretch across the front of the thigh of the bent leg.
2. Hip flexor stretch in a lunge position
- How: Split your legs so one is forward and the other behind. Standing on the ball of the back foot, come into a lunge position, bringing your back knee down if necessary. Place your hands on your hips as you stretch out the front of the hip.
3. Calf stretch on step with straight leg calf plus bent knee calf
- How: Standing on a step, drop the heel of one foot down towards the ground while keeping the leg straight. Hold, then perform the stretch again – this time with a bent knee.
4. Standing hip stretch
- How: Balancing on one leg (using wall if necessary), take the opposite foot to the thigh of the standing leg and squat down on your balancing leg. Keep the top foot flexed as you squat lower to intensify the stretch.
5. Standing hamstring stretch
- How: Split your legs so one is in front of the other and put the heel of the front foot onto a step. Rest your hands on the thigh of the bent leg and flex the toes of your front foot towards your face.