The importance of stretching for runners cannot be overemphasized! Here I have 9 targeted running-specific stretches. These stretches are great to use after a run or on rest days (always make sure your warm your muscles with some light activity before stretching!)
Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. If you have a tighter side, consider performing a second round of stretching for that side to help even out your sides. By stretching on a regular basis, you can improve your running time and help prevent injury. Enjoy!
Arch Back Over Ball Stretch
Arch back over the ball helps runners because it ensures our that our spine becomes decompressed after all the pounding. When we don't do anything to release the spine, back pain quite often results.
A good calf stretch ensures the health of the hips, knees, ankles and feet. This one against the wall is my favorite.
Quads get tight during running, so this stretch really helps. It also will stretch your shoulder if you are tight there.
Hamstrings also tend to get tight and crampy after running. By stretching while on the floor, you can be sure you're able to stay relaxed to get the best results from your session.
The adductor refers to the inner thigh. That guy gets pretty stiff during runs. This stretch works on that area.
IT Band Stretch
This stretch helps prevent sore knees and hips. It feels soooo good after a run!
Hip Flexor Stretch
This stretch is wonderful for keeping the back healthy. Tight hip flexors really pull on the back. This is my favorite way to address the hip flexors.
This hip muscles locks down when we run a lot. This stretch helps open the area.
Thoracic Opener Stretch
The more mobile the thoracic area, the faster you can run due to increased efficiency of the upper body. It also keeps your back healthy and mobile.