Knowing the correct stretching exercises for running is very important.
Do you run regularly? Have you developed a warm-up and cool-down routine? If you haven’t, running will hurt you far more than it will benefit you.
This article will go over all the essential stretching exercises for runners. So whether you want to know how to stretch before running or enjoy the best calf stretching exercises for runners, we’re covering it all in this all you need to know guide.
Stretching Exercises for Running And Jogging
Stretching is an essential part of almost every workout, especially running. Even if you’re only going out on a short jog, you should stretch before and after the exercise.
Skipping a warm-up can lead to you pulling muscles. On the other hand, missing a cool down can decrease mobility since exercise shortens muscles.
Stretching Exercises Leg Cramps
Not stretching enough and dehydration are the leading causes of leg cramps. Leg cramps or muscle cramps are explained in greater detail by the Mayo Clinic here.
Stretching the main muscles in your legs is a great way to prevent leg cramps. Unfortunately, this means that it isn’t enough to stretch for 2 minutes and call it a day.
It would be best if you put time, energy, and effort into stretching exercises for them to be effective. In addition to stretching be sure you are staying hydrated by drinking enough fluids.
Stretching Your Calf Muscles
Calf muscles deserve special attention because your body’s weight distribution is affected when you don’t stretch them. As a result, your foot, ankle, and knee can’t perform their functions properly; this can cause tightness, pain, and even injuries.
So if you want to prevent long-term pain and suffering, you should do calf stretching exercises before running.
Foot Stretching Exercises for Runners
Running is a high-impact exercise, and your feet are the first point of contact every time you hit the ground. So stretching exercises for runners guide should include exercises for this integral body part.
Here are two of the most effective options for you.
Bear Squat To Downward Dog
Sit on the floor with your legs folded under you. Curl your toes and sit on your heels. Rock side to side on your curled toes to stretch your foot.
Then come onto all fours in a tabletop position and push your hips up into a downward dog pose. Hold the position for a second and then drop down to your hands and knees and start the sequence again. Repeat five times.
Toe Lift – Foot Stretching Exercise for Running
Spread out your toes and lift the big toe. Keep it up for two seconds, and then release it back down. Repeat this 10 to 15 times. Then do the same with the other four toes. Finally, lift all four, hold for two seconds, and release.
How to Strengthen Runners Knee
For runner’s knee pain, you can try various exercises that focus on strengthening the quadriceps, hips, and knees. Stretching your hip flexors and hamstrings can also provide relief.
Try doing at least one set of stretching exercises for runners every day for six weeks. You’ll start noticing a difference after two weeks.
Straight Leg Lift
Lie down on your back and bend one knee at 90 degrees. Keep the other leg completely straight on the floor. Tighten your thigh muscles on the extended leg. Raise this leg until it is at 45 degrees with the floor and hold it there for a few seconds.
Then lower it to the ground and repeat this 15 to 20 times. Then switch to the other leg.
Standing Quad Stretch
Stand straight and reach behind your body to hold your left foot with your left hand. Then bring your heel up to your glutes. It’s okay if you can’t go that far, though. Remember not to push too far. Go as deep as comfortable.
Hold the stretch for 15 seconds and then switch to the right leg. Repeat the stretch on the right side.
The last stretch on our list is the hamstring stretch. Lie on your back with your right leg extended in front of you. Lift your left leg without bending it at the knee. Hold it with your hands and pull the leg in toward your chest.
You’ll feel a stretch in the back of your thigh. As you pull the leg towards you, keep your leg straight and flex your heel. Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds, lower your leg towards the floor.
Repeat the stretch on your right leg.
Stretching Exercises for Runners
Whether you’re going on a run or have just come back from one, it’s crucial to stretch. These stretching exercises for runners are great for warm-ups and cool-downs alike.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Lift your left foot and pull it behind you. Grab its top and pull it in towards your left buttock. Doing so should stretch the front of your thigh. If you’re having trouble keeping your balance, keep the knees touching. Alternatively, you can place a hand on a wall or bench for support.
Avoid leaning forward or to the side. Only look forward. Hold the pose for 15 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.
Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Then place the heel of your right foot in front of you and flex the foot, meaning point your toes forward. Keep the right leg straight and shift your weight to your left leg.
Bend the left leg at the knee slightly. Stay in this position and point the right foot upward for 5 seconds. Then flex the foot for 5 seconds. Send your hips back, and you’ll feel a stretch down the back of your right leg.
Start by stretching the right leg, then move to the left leg; this is one of the best calf stretching exercises for runners. Repeat the entire thing three times per leg. Remember to alternate between legs.
Stretching Exercises for Running – That’s a Wrap
Well as we’ve learned if you stretch out properly before and after running hoping you won’t need a wrap. Insert Dad Joke rim shot here.
In all seriousness, running is one of the best forms of cardio for men. However, if we are not careful running or jogging can really set us back from an injury.
Stretching is super crucial before and after running. We’ve detailed how you can do several different stretching exercises for running. Good luck, have fun, and be safe while exercising!